New York City Intellectual Property Lawyer Speaks About Copyright, Trademark, and Fashion Designer Issues

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Law Office of David H. Faux, P.C. (New York City) addresses concerns about Pirates, Licensing, Trademark and Copyright

Fashion Attorney, David H. Faux

Young designers need to know about non-compete provisions, merger clauses, and other aspects of the standard employment contract for large design houses in New York City. These can severely restrict their future careers if they are not careful.

Noted Fashion, Intellectual Property, and Corporate attorney David H. Faux spent much time this winter advising authors about how to locate, combat, and defeat copyright pirates. Likewise, he spoke to several local businesses about copyright licensing and reprised his role as lecturer and supervisor for the series at Parsons The New School of Design covering trademark, copyright, internet law, corporate formation and governance, retail licensing, the employment process, and upcoming legislation (i.e., the Innovative Design Piracy Prohibition and Protection Act, also known as the “IDPPPA” or the “Schumer Bill”).

Throughout late 2010 and continuing into 2011, Faux has been an astonishing advocate for fighting pirates, advising authors in particular on how to locate and react to the infringements such as illegal sales of DVDs and illegal trading of sheet music, lyrics, and prose. Faux elucidates, “I call them ‘piramours.’ These are usually college-aged people who love the artists so much that they are compelled to collect those authors’ works. They don’t understand that they are taking money out of the pockets of the artists that they love.”

On February 24, 2011, Faux spoke to sculptors, graphic artists, furniture designers, lighting designers, and fashion designers about the contours of copyright law and the staple provisions in any proper copyright license. “Whether established or just starting out, a lot of business people do not know how to properly limit a license for their creative work. On one hand, they are not supposed to be experts in legal contracts because they are already experts in their art. However, they should have a basic understanding of how they can exploit their works most efficiently,” Faux said. He spoke specifically about time limits, royalties, approvals, and other controls related to a variety of fields including the fine arts and fashion designs.

Shifting gears in March, Faux broadened his local lectures to include not only copyright but also trademark, internet law, corporate law, retail licenses for fashion designers and the employment process for fashion designers. He was thrilled that Parsons invited him back for a second consecutive semester and has already scheduled meetings towards repeating the series next Fall. “I was especially glad to be involved in the employment process lecture,” Faux explains, “because it is still such a tough market. Young designers need to know about non-compete provisions, merger clauses, and other aspects of the standard employment contract for large design houses in New York City. These can severely restrict their future careers if they are not careful.”

Finally in early April, Faux spoke at New York Law School about the Schumer Bill. This legislation, still in the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, will allow for non-registered protection of fashion designs for three years, prohibiting other designers from producing apparel in the market which is substantially identical. Faux comments: “The more I read this bill, the less I understand why it was presented at all, as it will likely be completely useless to beginning designers. The lack of any requirement to register a design will create a huge mess. The fact that plaintiffs must shoulder the expenses of proving their claim just to get into court will stifle any attempt by beginning designers to protect themselves—they do not have the money to meet that burden! And the proposed new threshold of ‘substantially identical’ to something that is supposed to be ‘unique’ will have courtrooms tied up in abstract subjectivism for decades to come.”

Faux looks forward to speaking about negotiations skills and the basics of maintaining an intellectual property portfolio this summer when he travels to Miami, FL, and Washington DC. He also has plans to travel to Los Angeles in the Fall. While he looks forward to meeting artists, business owners, and even current clients in those cities, he will be glad to return to New York City to tend to his private practice.

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