The topic of the article includes a question as if we look into the
intellectual property laws with respect to the fashion industry, the dreams of
the designers and design students is something which requires a property review
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 labour laws, and
Over the period of years, there has been a lot of development in the
intellectual property rights with respect to national and international
treaties, but what is lacking is the protection of this right with respect to
the fashion industry. Even the design act and other design law treaties, majorly
cover the industrial design and what the loop hole here is that there is no
proper legislation which provides security to fashion designers, shoe designers
and other individuals belonging to the profession of the same.
Indian IP laws, specifically The Copyright Act,1957 and The Designs Act, 2000
gives two kinds of protection in the designer clothes. First is the protection
for the drawings on any garment that may not necessarily include the
shape/design of the garment itself.
The second category includes the design/shape of the garment itself, attributing
to its unique fabric and tailoring. Designers are aggressively pushing to
protect their design rights of this category.
The problem there is that even the designs of top designer’s and brands are
counterfeited, and this increases the hardships of small designers and design
students who are trying to make a place in the industry.
The places like Chandni Chowk, linking road, several online platforms,
individual shops as well as street markets engage in this business of selling
duplicates of the designs. The reason why all this is openly happening is
because there are no concrete and strict legislation the way we have with
respect to inventions and books of individuals.
Another issue why this is happening is because these counterfeited goods are
being produced, the countries like Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and many more
engage in the production of such goods, which are further imported into other
countries, where the distribution further takes place. Singapore does not allow
the sale of counterfeited goods, yet individuals take trips to Thailand and
Malaysia and use the goods in Singapore. United States, does not legalize the
same, yet the same activity could be seen on the streets of fifth avenue.
These activities increase the hardships of design students, which over the time
has increased because of the expansion of social media, every design student to
get into a design school has to make a portfolio and after that engage in
several assignments which involves their intellectual and artistic ability yet
there is always a threat that how and when they could be counterfeited if
displayed to public.
To conclude it is essential for us to understand that the day inventions,
articles and books and other intellectual properties are protected, the same
legislation should be there for the individuals in the field of fashion so
ensure that their rights are not violated. The national and international
treaties of design provides for the security of the designs but the
concentration of the same is more on the industrial designs and the improvement
in the condition will happen with the design act and treaties widening its
practical scope and a proper investigation and surveys with respect to why is
this happening and identifying the nexus of the same.
- Design Act, 2000
- Discussion with fashion design students, in order to get an
understanding of their hardships.
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