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Fashion Designs: How To Protect Your Intellectual Property

Fashion is a multibillion dollar industry in Florida. By some economic estimates, 10 percent of the industry is made up of knock-off products. Many of these knock off fashion products are illegal. Fashion designers work hard creating unique ideas to bring new looks into the industry. It is only right that people are able to profit from their own work. Those in the fashion industry have legal options to product their innovative designs. If you have fashion design intellectual property questions, an experienced West Palm Beach trademark attorney can help.

Fashion Designs and Trademark Law

Trademark law is typically the best avenue to protect a unique fashion design. Many people are aware of the fact that they can protect their company’s name and their company’s logo through the use of a trademark. But, trademark law can also be used to legally protect a unique print, pattern or other design feature in some cases. An area of trademark law, known as trade dress, provides intellectual property protection for certain fashion designs. To qualify for trade dress protection, a design must be a consumer source signifier. This means that the design must be unique and recognizable to a certain segment of consumers, it must make them automatically associate the design with your brand.

Fashion Designs and Copyright Law

You cannot copyright a fashion design in the United States. However, certain elements of a design might be entitled to some copyright protection. An original pattern, a distinct arrangement of colors or other innovative elements of a design might be copyrightable. But you cannot copyright clothing, or other fashion items, because they serve a useful purpose. So, in order to obtain a copyright for a design, that design must be able to be detached from the fashion product.

Legal Strategies for Fashion Designers

Innovative designs are the lifeblood of the fashion business, you need to make sure that your business is adequately protected. Whether someone is infringing on your design, or trying to falsely accuse you of infringing on their design, an attorney can help. Some basic legal strategies to remember include:

  • If any of your fashion designs have achieved unique brand recognition, you should meet with an attorney to consider trademark registration for that design.
  • For an original print in your design, you should consider filing for copyright protection specifically on that print.
  • If you are worried that one of your designs might be infringing on an already existing copyright or trademark, an attorney can review the case and help bring you clarity.
  • Finally, designers should always consult with an experienced Florida trademark litigation attorney before taking any legal action.

Contact An Experienced West Palm Beach Trademark Litigation Attorney

The legal team at Pike & Lustig, LLP has extensive experience both prosecuting and defending trademark claims in Florida. We put our clients first and work hard to find a solution which best fits client needs. If you are involved in a fashion related trademark dispute, please do not hesitate to contact our West Palm Beach office today for sound professional representation.

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