IP focused guide to the fashion industry
Produced in partnership with DLA Piper

The following IP practice note produced in partnership with DLA Piper provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • IP focused guide to the fashion industry
  • How the fashion industry works
  • Applicable IP rights
  • Copyright
  • Design rights
  • Registered design rights
  • Unregistered design rights
  • Trade marks
  • Registered trade marks
  • Unregistered trade marks
  • More...

IP focused guide to the fashion industry

How the fashion industry works

The fashion industry is a globalised, billion-dollar, fast-moving industry, with clothing and accessories often being designed in one country, manufactured in another country and sold worldwide in retail stores or online. Each year, fashion houses design, manufacture, show and sell at least a spring/summer and autumn/winter collection. Each creates hundreds of designs, all of which need to be attractive to consumers and more desirable than those of competitors. As attractive as these designs may be, they often have a very short shelf life: a garment that is this season's hit may be completely outdated the following year. These issues pose certain challenges to the creators of fashion items, in particular when it comes to protecting their designs from being copied by competitors or counterfeiters.

The transient nature of fashion items raises a number of issues such as:

  1. whether it is worthwhile seeking protection through registrations of IP rights

  2. what rights should be protected, and

  3. in which jurisdictions rights should be protected

This Practice Note provides an overview of how fashion items are or may be protected by IP rights in the UK and addresses a number of related issues such as the importance of branding, issues pertaining to advertising and promotions, customer data and data protection, unfair commercial practices, manufacturing, licensing, consumer rights regulations, celebrity endorsement

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