Intellectual property is a vital necessity for the success of any product or company. Whether protection in trademark, patent, copyright, or trade secret, individuals or corporations need to ensure that their branding and unique designs will not be diluted by counterfeiters or copycats. The fashion industry especially has struggled with the issue of intellectual property as the Court views clothing as more for functional purposes than a distinguished product. Changes in the U.S. patent law provide great opportunity for fashion designers to protect their designs not only in the United States, but also all over the world.
One of fashion’s newest trends is the utilization of 3D printing technology to produce custom made clothing, footwear, and jewelry. This is just one of the innovative ways that fashion designers have been changing the face of the fashion market. Martje Dijkstra, is a distinguishing Dutch fashion designer that incorporates 3D technology into her pieces in some groundbreaking ways.
London Fashion Week has been the event that has introduced many new trends and creative fashion designs. The fashion industry has struggled with the issue of intellectual property as other countries, particularly China, threaten the fashion companies through counterfeit products. Fashion designer Henry Holland, warns others participating in the Fashion Week, about the dangers of intellectual property theft. Henry Holland, who owns House of Holland, thought that the start of the event was the perfect time to raise awareness of this issue. Since Mr. Holland owns a small company, the dangers of stolen designs from larger companies harm his business. His fear is that once his designs are shown in London Fashion Week, counterfeiters can easily manufacture and distribute his ideas before him.
The number of design infringement cases have been increasing, as the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, a court equivalent to the High Court regarding intellectual property matters, based in London, is hearing cases faster and at a far less cost.