Fashion is an enormous industry from design to production to retail and
everything in between. Fashion is never going away whether it be digital stores
or instagram, there's always going to be fashion, people are gonna buy clothes
and there will always be cases where someone is copying a good idea.
If we don't have copyright protections then it opens up to complete theft of our
ideas, of our creativity, of our business model.
Your creativity, your designs are coming from within you and they deserve
Intellectual property is the basis for protecting your concept and your idea,
regardless of whether you're in fashion or in any other industry. Intellectual
property is the body of law that protects the creative process. It is simply an
intangible property. Intellectual property impacts every aspect of what a
fashion company does, beginning with way of products get designed, because
nothing gets designed in a vacuum.
Intellectual property law basically is a mix of copyright, trademark and
Let's talk about the role of copyright in fashion law.
The court stated that the copyright wouldn't protect the cut of the apparel but
would protect the designs.
Fashion design which is an original artistic work and hence not capable of being
registered as design
under the Designs Act, 2000 will get copyright protection
in the form of copyright in original artistic work under the Copyright Act,
A copyright is nothing more, nothing less than the right to copy. It literally
means the right to copy but has come to mean that body of exclusive rights
granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work.
Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced,
distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work
without the permission of the copyright owner.
It is the way to protect your intellectual property and if someone is copying
you or distributing or modifying an original piece of work, you can pursue legal
action against them and if someone takes work and modifies it but original
creativity is quite discernible and quite prevalent, this can also be a grounds
for you to go after and protect your copyright.
It is designed to encourage more artistic creation and expression by giving
creators control over what they create.
The moment you put pen to paper to draw or put your unique ideas into your work,
you have a copyright in that.
There have been complaints from the fashion designers about their work being
copied and the design piracy is taking place. There has been an ongoing debate
for the protection in the fashion industry for copyright protection against
piracy. As piracy is been done in a huge number the fashion designers should
take a step forward to use copyright protection where their designs can still be
exclusive and no one can copy or sell the designs without the respective
Copyright doesn't protect, for example, the cut of a blouse because it has two
arms and buttons.
For example, Sabyasachi's lehenga dress is itself not protectable, but the
design of that lehenga is protectable.
If anyone copy your designs without your permission or to borrow extremely
heavily from it in ways that are quite discernible that they would be infringing
on your copyright, its also important to keep a record of the research and
development of the piece your work whether it's the iterations, drafts, mood
board inspiration, tech packs, the more data and the more actual information you
have that support the original creation of this original piece of content, the
better your chances are of protecting and solidifying your copyright.
Do take advantage of that and know how to protect your copyright and also know
how to actually present your copyright in a way that is owned by you.
The more work you can do upfront to make sure that this piece of work:
- should be your original work based on a unique idea and concept.
- is rightfully yours and at the same time when you do have a copyright
infringement case, make sure you have the necessary resources to back up
your copyright claim.
Well copyright doesn't need to be registered, it is implicitly implied once you
create and share a piece and if you are creating the original work, you will
automatically receive copyright protection but in case, if something happens,
now you have the copyright protection law.
In India, design registration is valid for 10 years and +5 years additional
protection (application for renewal).
The design act can give protection only to the registered designs. The fashion
designers who have not registered their respective designs would not be able to
take advantage of this act.
They cannot file a suit for the recovery of damages
for unauthorized copying of their designs and an injunction against the
- Section 22: Piracy of registered Designs
Fashion Law - A Primer
Fashion and Intellectual Property
Tips To Hire A Copyright Lawyer In India
Fashion Industry - Copyright and Design Protection
Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Fashion Industry
Fashion Law And Its Scope With Reference To Important Case Laws
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Tithi Tiwari
Authentication No: JA38229450623-02-0122
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