When this happens to Vera Wang, too many designers make the logical jump that there must be no possible protection for their own fashion designs—not true!
New York, NY (PRWEB) November 15, 2011
According to the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, counterfeiting costs businesses in the United States between $200 billion and $250 billion every year, consistently over the past several years, with no sign of improvement. Piracy continues to threaten exclusive and legitimate licensing deals between retail outlets whether with the designer is recently discovered or more established like Vera Wang.
“That was when it really became clear how little fashion designers know about the importance of their own intellectual property,” says New York City attorney David H. Faux, whose practice focuses in part on fashion law. “Last year, the day after Chelsea Clinton wore Vera Wang’s strapless gown at her wedding, ABS by Allen Schwartz announced it would be producing a copy. When this happens to Vera Wang, too many designers make the logical jump that there must be no possible protection for their own fashion designs—not true!” Following the legal claims filed by such designers as Diane von Furstenberg and Anna Sui against Forever 21 based copyright theories (including others), some designers have realized that there is more they can do. But most fashion designers avoid dealing with the legal aspects of their fashion business.
Dave Faux recently went to Portland, Seattle, and Cleveland to give talks to large groups about how all independent, creative artists should view themselves as CEOs with their intellectual property portfolio as their primary asset. But he also made a point to visit his private clients in the area to discuss the state of their specific portfolios.
“Most clients are aware that they need some sort of trademark, but they still have gaps in what they can protect,” he says. “They should be expanding their brands, updating registrations, and even copyrighting some of their materials. They think it might not be worth the cost because even in New York City, piracy and counterfeiting does not happen to every single fashion designer. What they fail to realize is that if it happens to them, then that could severely damage or even end their company!”
While there is talk of Dave Faux scheduling lecture dates, these specific to fashion designers and in-house counsel wanting to learn more about trademark, copyright, and trade secrets, this may take some time. “Private clients always come first to a law office,” he explains. “I have plenty of trademarks and copyrights to register, maintain, and enforce—not to mention the associated licensing contracts. I have to make sure they are fully protected before giving talks to the general public.” Additionally, he mentioned that he is already committed to some speaking engagements in his home base of New York City about the recent decision against the Christian Louboutin company and “fashion law” in general.