Fashion Law - Guide to Fashion Law
What is Fashion Law?
Fashion law refers to a specialized area of the law that deals with legal issues affecting the fashion industry. Primarily, fashion law relates to intellectual property rights (i.e., copyright and trademark law), contracts and commercial transactions (both domestic and international), employment and labor laws, and customs.
Although a highly focused sub-specialty, Fashion Law is a quickly growing field. Several American law schools and design schools have even dedicated programs to the topic of fashion law. This is an acknowledgment of the increasing need for attorneys specialized in the unique idiosyncrasies of the fashion industry as opposed to other, similar industry specialty fields like entertainment, arts, and sports law.
Fashion houses and designers now face unique challenges specific to their industry, requiring attorneys who understand the advantages and disadvantages of various types of intellectual property protection, particularly in light of the seasonal nature of the fashion industry. Moreover, the increased availability of counterfeit goods, such as “knock-off” designer handbags and dresses, the risk of threats from so-called “copyright trolls,” and laws relating to the use of "hazardous materials" in consumer goods have created interesting new challenges for the fashion industry and the fashion lawyer in particular. Similarly, the fashion industry deals with unusual international supply chain issues,and very specific employment-law concerns, such as the use of minors for fashion modeling or as labor in overseas factories. Consequently, while fashion law is a fairly new specialty area of practice, it is gaining momentum and sure to a major focus in years to come.
For more information about fashion law, please review the resources below. Additionally, you can find an attorney in your area who specializes in fashion law by clicking on the Law Firms tab on the menu bar, above.
Articles on HG.org Related to Fashion Law
- Is Peter Thiel Right about Gawker?(CNN) There is a Klingon saying that "revenge is a dish best served cold." There is another saying used by parents everywhere: "This is why we can't have nice things." Both maxims came to mind as the news broke about PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel bankrolling Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker media.
- What Entrepreneurs Must Understand about Intellectual PropertyIntellectual property may be the backbone and foundation of a business venture, and it is crucial that entrepreneurs understand what these items are so they may profit and avoid violations. If the owner of a business has created some concept or work, he or she may be able to market it and keep it protected through intellectual property protections.
- Protect Your Trademark in BrazilAlthough you might not think often about protecting your trademark rights in Brazil, you need to – even if you don’t yet have a single Brazilian customer.
- Your Rights Regarding Social Media and CopyrightEveryone online that has access to a computer and the need to connect to social media is able to publish posts with no mind about intellectual property and the protections provided to the content. This means there are potentially hundreds to thousands of published replies, posts and comments that have copyright information available to the world.
- Common Myths Business Owners Have about Copyrighted MaterialMany persons that use and reproduce copyright material believe that there are several instances where it is fine to include the exact information or to create something from the source.
- Registering and Defending Your IPIntellectual property most often needs both the standard and extra protection from theft, reproduction or those that would build upon the previous work. This is for multiple types of these works to include what a trademark safeguards. Defending the intellectual property from possible violations generally takes registration, a good lawyer and ensuring the information is used properly.
- The Price of Using Someone Else’s Copyrighted MaterialThe use and reproduction of another person’s copyrighted material could be severe or minor depending on various factors and how much of a violation the action is. There are numerous permissions to use copyrighted resources and materials, but it is important to understand these conditions fully before distributing works that have been copyrighted by an author.
- Nondisclosure Agreements Needed for Editing Copyright MaterialsThe need for nondisclosure agreements is imperative when the materials are of sensitive matters. Copyrighted works and dealing with these items means a close eye on anyone that might be interested in sharing the data with others in person or online.
- Safeguards for Copyrighted Books Shared OnlineSince the internet became necessary for most business practices and transactions, this use and interest has spread to other aspects of company and business needs. For those that create manuscripts and books, many authors have started sharing partial or complete works to the public.
- All About the Defend Trade Secrets ActTrade secrets are often difficult to protect with only so many safeguards in place for the owners of the secrets as recourse when the ingredient, process or recipe is revealed to the public or a competitor. However, the Defend Trade Secrets Act was passed in 2016.
- All Business and Industry Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Business and Industry including: agency and distributorship, agency law, business and industry, business formation, business law, commercial law, contracts, corporate governance, corporate law, e-commerce, food and beverages law, franchising, industrial and manufacturing, joint ventures, legal economics, marketing law, mergers and acquisitions, offshore services, privatization law, retail, shareholders rights and utilities.
- All Intellectual Property Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Intellectual Property including: copyright, domain names, licensing law, patents, trade secrets and trademark.
Fashion Law - US
- AAFA - Anti-Counterfeiting and IPR Issues
Congress and the Administration continue to be active on efforts to strengthen intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement. A law (PL 109-81, Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods) that was enacted in March 2006 to provide tougher penalties for the trafficking in counterfeit hangtags and labels has already had some results and will continue to help law enforcers prosecute counterfeiters.
- Design Law in the European Fashion Sector
Following the entry into force of the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement in the European Community, Dr. Fridolin Fischer, an attorney-at- law in Zurich, Switzerland, and author of “Kleidermode – Phänomen ohne Rechtsschutz?”, an analysis of legal protection for fashion designs, discusses in this article for WIPO Magazine the relevance of design law in the fashion sector.
- Design Piracy Prohibition Act
An Act to amend title 17 to the United States Code, to extend protection to fashion design, and for other purposes.
- Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act
Senator Schumer has introduced a new fashion design protection bill called the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act. The bill represents a compromise as compared to its highly problematic predecessor, the Design Piracy Protection Act (DPPA) which would have put 90% of independent designers out of business (and me along with them). The proposed new bill represents a compromise between the AAFA and CFDA. We also have your voices and advocacy to thank for making this possible.
- Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act
Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act - Amends the federal criminal code to revise provisions prohibiting the trafficking in counterfeit goods and services to include trafficking in labels or similar packaging of any type or nature, with knowledge that a counterfeit mark has been applied to such labels or packaging, the use of which is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, or to deceive.
- United States Copyright Office - Protection for Fashion Design
The Copyright Office submits this written statement to the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property in connection with the Subcommittee's July 27, 2006 hearing on H.R. 5055,
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the Federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing this, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution that the Executive branch "promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries."
Organizations Related to Fashion Law
- American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA)
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers, which compete in the global market.
- Arts of Fashion Foundation
The new challenge for the American fashion industry as well as for education would be the adoption of a copyright law for fashion design with the Design Piracy Prohibition Act.
- Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)
The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc, (CFDA) is a not-for-profit trade association that leads industry-wide initiatives and whose membership consists of more than 350 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry, and accessory designers. In addition to hosting the annual CFDA Fashion Awards, which recognize the top creative talent in the industry, the organization offers programs which support professional development and scholarships, including the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the Geoffrey Beene Design Scholar Award, the Liz Claiborne Scholarship Award, and the CFDA/Teen Vogue Scholarship. Member support is provided through the Business Services Network, a high-profile group of companies offering designers strategic opportunities.
- Fashion Law Center
The world of fashion may soon be substantially transformed by Congressional passage of a proposed new law known as the U.S. "Design Piracy Act." As every fashionista knows, the fashion industry thrives on trends and therefore on imitation. The question frequently arises, how much is too much? When does "inspiration" verge on theft? That Diane von Furstenberg knockoff you saw for sale at Forever 21 – is that legal? Today, U.S. law differs markedly from European Union law in that the U.S. does not provide for the legal protection of fashion designs. While certain elements of a garment or fashion item may be protected (trademarks, fabric prints, and accessories, for example), the actual design of a garment cannot be protected.
- International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition
The International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition is the world's largest non-profit organization devoted solely to protecting intellectual property and deterring counterfeiting. Our membership spans from automotive, apparel, luxury goods and pharmaceuticals, to food, software and entertainment. From the small privately owned companies to large multinationals, we share one common goal–to combat counterfeiting and piracy.