Utility of Intellectual Property Rights Protection in the Fashion Industry: An Analytical Study

Karen Bobby
School of Law, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru, India.

Volume III – Issue I, 2021

Fashion is ‘Art’. Art is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Hence, this skill which produces distinct and unique pieces must be protected with Intellectual Property Rights. The IPR Regime in India provides protection to the fashion design under four legislations that is The Designs Act, 2000, The Indian Copyright Act, 1957, The Trademarks Act, 1999 and Geographical Indications Act, 1999. From the perspective of Fashion Industry, the Acts do not protect the entire garment as a whole; rather it protects the particular and individual aspects like shape, pattern, color etc. of the garment. The available Intellectual Property laws in India with regard fashion protection and argues that it is not sufficient to protect the Fashion Industry in India. Fashion Protection is positively significant for un-established designers and entrepreneurs, who endure all the opposition and overexposure burdens of duplicating without the advantage of increased prestige. Without IPR protection they contend, copyists will complementary lift on the endeavors of makers, demoralizing future interests in new developments and manifestations. IPR protection for style designs would energize more prominent development by guaranteeing that the benefits from a plan went to the creator and not to the individuals who just replicated the work. Duplicating innovation especially the speed with which pictures of designs from runway shows can be sent the world over by means of the web has changed so radically lately, that designers are enduring phenomenal damage that must be redressed by IPR protection. The Designs Act affords protection to the “design” registered under the Act, but does not include any mode or principle of construction or anything which is in substance a mere mechanical device, and does not include any trade mark. In this paper the author suggests that this definition does not suit the needs of the fashion designing industry on account of three reasons such as no protection to unregistered designs, Time consuming registration process and Inadequacy of Damages. Due to the same reason the author proposes suggestions for improvisation of the IPR Regime of the Fashion Industry.

Keywords: Fashion Industry, Design, Artistic Work, Intellectual Property Rights.


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