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Importance of Intellectual Property Rights in Fashion Industry

Types of IPR in Fashion Industry

1: INTRODUCTION

Intellectual Property Rights are the rights owed to creators and owners of work. Intellectual property rights in broad terms means the legal rights which result from intellectual activity in scientific, industrial literary and artistic fields. By executing strong IP rights there would be less chance of financial loss for the original brands. One of the most important advantages by applying these rights would be the consumers will get stronger confidence on the unique brands.

The report will start with a manifestation of background of our research area. It will be pursued by a problem discussion and would then result into the main purpose of the study and aim of our study. The delimitations in carrying out the research would also be discussed in this study and lastly, the expected results would be determined. The fashion industry involves designing, advertising and marketing of fashionable items. This industry requires versatile skills and depends on the innovative creations.

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1.1 Background

Fashion, like art, is a manifestation of life. It is a kind of common art, through which a culture observes its philosophy of beauty and goodness. In a world where everybody is conscious about the image, it has become more and more important to dress the part. Fashion never remains constant, its definition changes frequently. The change may ensue more swiftly than in other areas of human activity. It is used as the other name for glamour, allure, fascination and style (Caenegem, 2007). It can in fact gratify a wish to understand “new” and “attractive” things. Trend is making the youth society crazy. Since decade, clothes have represented a person’s profession, status, gender, zones and wealth. It is a trait of a person’s everyday life and his uniqueness. Our clothes can represent a lot to other people - what we wear, how we wear and what we wear helps others to finely read the social situation of ours.

In today’s era, people pay a lot of attention to their looks, style and appearance. Humans mentality is designed in such a manner that they spend money on clothes as their status and position allows. Fashion is a language cipher, and symbols which non-verbally speaks the meaning about individuals and groups. It is just not limited to apparels but also widens towards luxury goods. This particular research has been undertaken to study the relation between IPR and the fashion industry around the world. The fashion industries intellectual property rights are a major issue in this industry. Fashion designers are regularly complaining about their designs and creation being copied by other designers without their prior permission. So, it has become vital to stop such as called piracy as it is acting as a hindrance in the growth of this industry. Every year, the fashion industry invests enormous amount of money creating new designs in every new season. The designers ought no doubt to have possession over their original design and creations, but as they do not have an official legal option to have this ownership over their designs because they are not registered.

One of the other challenge which the fashion industry faces is due to the retailers and the ready to wear apparel makers, as they come out with low-cost and reasonable knock-offs of the original design and the customers also feel convenient to purchase the knock-offs as the fascination with designer clothes. There are lot of misapprehensions nearby such controversies. First and the foremost is, that any item of clothing created by an individual does not comes under the Copyright Act and shall not be allowed for protection under the same. The two Copyright Act, 1957 and Act 2000 are having different significance. The Act 2000 is related to articles of clothing, farming, artificial and natural sheet material, unlike the Copyright Act 1957, which is valid for artistic work, musical and dramatic work. Designer garments and accessories are enabled for protection under the Act of Design’s 2000 for a period of fifteen years. It means that a designer will not be allowed to do protection for his own work until and unless the same is registered under the act, 2000. An action could only be taken against the infringers, when the design is registered under this act. The owner of the design can recuperate from the person who copies illegally, a sum not exceeding twenty-five thousand rupees or a suit for recovery of damages and ban against recurrence. Thus, getting the design registered of apparel is obligatory and helps in discouraging others from copying it, and also helps fight against the deceitful competitors who do such type of illegal work (Barrere and Chossat, 2004).

The fashion industry is such an industry which is moderately affected by the economic changes in the country (Raustiala and Sprigman, 2006). As we can take the instance of recessionary fear in the US; has done nothing to damage haute couture, which is actually seeing a rise in the customers in the time when so many other industries were facing decrease in sales. The industry was once seen as almost exclusively for women, however in the past few years men have also begun to pay more attention towards their appearance and the industry has also started focusing more on catering to male clientele. Although, still women make the majority of purchases in the clothing industry, companies have started taking advantage of the male demographic and plea them in order to raise the sales (Easterbrook, 1990). A significant rise in the level of income of the consumer is being seen which has raised the sale of this industry.

Sustainability in this industry is becoming increasingly significant. Today, the concept of ‘fast fashion’ has gained very much popularity through various retailers who offers low-priced clothes which is meant to be worn a limited number of times. This type of fashion has given rise to the “throw away fashion attitude” and has increased the pace of the fashion cycle. Its attention has been now shifted towards the developing nations in the past years where abundance of raw material is available at a cheaper rate.

Problem Discussion

The fashion industry makes enormous amount of investments to make new and creative designs, but due to the short life span of fashion and its trends many of the owners of the creators of design does not utilizes the rights. Getting the designs registered, would help the fashion designers to avoid others from misusing or exploiting the original designs. The main problem which we would be discussing in the study report is about the IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) and the fashion industry around the world. This study would help the upcoming talents of the fashion industry to know more about the IPR and the industry and what are the benefits of getting a design protected. It would also enable the designers to know about the benefits of patents, copyrights and trademarks. The main aim of the research is to identify the importance of Intellectual Property Rights in the Fashion Industry and the usefulness of the patent, copyright and trademarks in a design. The designers make innovative creations and manufacture garments with extensive zeal and energy but the infringer’s copies the design the moment it is revealed in the market. So, in this report discussion will be made on the various IPR rights and how the designers could take advantage of this.

The research is being carried on to achieve three main objectives:

• To analyze the usefulness of the IPR in fashion industry;

• To identify various types in IPR in fashion industry;

• To study the value of copyright of designs in this industry.

IP Rights have appeared as a crucial matter in the industry, since past few years, (Hilton, Choi and Chen,2004). Even the advocates of IP protections have mentioned that scientific and technological inventions as well as films, books and literary and artistic works are difficult to create, but very easy to copy. Copying in this industry discourages the creator for future investments and new inventions, as the person who copies will free- ride on the efforts made by the creator. The orthodox justification for IPR forecasts, that in a world without IPR, copying will strangle new creations and innovations. But, still few seem to have noticed the importance of these rights. The fashion industry exists in a large global industry which produces a titanic variety of creative and artistic goods in the market, which is bigger than those of books, films, music and other scientific inventions. Yet, the industry is running without any strong IP rights protection. The whole study report is based upon analyzing the value of IPR in the industry and exploring the various types of IPR which are present in the law with which the designers could protect their original creations.

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Recommendations:

In today’s era, people pay a lot of attention to their looks, style and appearance. Humans mentality is designed in such a manner that they spend money on clothes as their status and position allows. Fashion is a language cipher, and symbols which non-verbally speaks the meaning about individuals and groups. It is just not limited to apparels but also widens towards luxury goods. But the fashion industry is continuously suffering from the fire of designs being copied by the other small designers. If the design is not having patent and copyright safeguarded it is easily imitated the moment it enters the strips (Jolley and Philpott, 2012).

It is very much significant to spread the awareness of the IP rights among the people so, that the designers who are spending so much time to make a expensive and creative design could protect them. The fashion industry makes enormous amount of investments to make new and creative designs, but due to the short life span of fashion and its trends many of the owners of the creation does not uses the law made for designs which is the lone remedy for all illicit practices. Getting the designs registered, would help the fashion designers to avoid others from misusing or exploiting the original designs.

Copying in the fashion industry is out of control, but still the rivalry, innovation and investment remains vibrant in this industry. It is necessary to required steps to safeguard the creations. The three main strong IP rights i.e. Patent, Trademark and Copyrights should be given due attention by the designers as well as by the government so, that piracy could be stopped in this industry. From the research it was concluded that respondents are having knowledge and awareness about these rights. Designers are generally not able to implement these rights in their creations due to time taking process and enormous amount of capital required to get a design patented. Therefore, rules and regulations should be framed now in such a manner that anyone avail these privileges in their innovations and infringement could be stopped. From all the above discussions, it is clear that the fashion industry is growing better than ever, the number of fashion weeks in a year has also increased in the world. Since fashion is just not restricted within the boundaries of any nation as, it is an art which is full of creativity and innovations.

The current protections are not sufficient for this industry so adequate amount of Intellectual Property Rights are required in this industry and the upcoming designers should also be made aware about it as it would help them to understand how the piracy is done and innovative designs are imitated. The ultimate aim of the fashion design should be to safeguard the originality of the design but not to limit the creativity. So, to do that the law should be in such a way that it should provide chance to get the design from the inspired bys rather than directly practicing knock-offs.

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Getting Top Grades is No Longer a Dream for You.

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REFERENCESS

  • Avery, P., 2008. The Economic Impact of Counterfeiting and Piracy. OECD Publishing.
  • Barrere, C. and Chossat, V., 2004. Intellectual Property Rights and Cultural Heritage: The Case of Non-Cumulative and Non-Degenerative Creation. Review Of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, 1(2), pp.97-117.
  • Bast, M.C. and Pyle, C.R., 2010. Foundations of Law: Cases, Commentry and Ethics. 5th ed. Cengage Learning.
  • Blaszczyk, L. R., 2009. Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture and Consumers. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Bruce, M., and Daly, L., 2006. Buyer Behaviour for Fast Fashion. Management 10 (3) 329-344.
  • Caenegem, W.V., 2007. Intellectual Property Law and Innovation. Cambridge University Press.
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