It’s time for the grand Indian weddings, and the brides-to-be may choose more affordable versions of their favorite bridal Lehnga’s in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk. Many designers have released wedding collections for 2018 brides, including as Sabyasachi for Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone and Manish Malhotra for Isha Ambani. The wedding lehengas worn by Anuskha Sharma and Sonam Kapoor reportedly become a hot commodity in 2017. These styles were available for anywhere from Rs.12,000 to Rs.1 lakh1 in Delhi’s Gaffar Market and Mumbai’s Linking Road. A stroll down Brigade Road in Bangalore or Vardaman Market in Kolkata, like the one in Delhi, shows us the identical scene. Even if names like “Moncler,” “Gucci,” “Armani,” “Louis Vuitton,” “Versace,” “Hermes,” “Heron Preston,” “Kenzo,” and “many others” may have a lot of weight in the eyes of some, street markets all throughout the country are prospering on first and second replicas of these names. Due to the widespread availability of the internet, “duplicate items” are now within reach of buyers from all socioeconomic backgrounds. These actions not only raise serious concerns about the efficacy of current IP regulations in the fashion industry, but also raise questions about the enforcement processes in India. The fashion business is discouraged for ‘original works’ because of the widespread practice of design piracy and knock off, which is not limited to the middle class pursuit of a luxurious lifestyle.
The Instagram account @dietsabya, which takes its cues from New York’s @diet prada, has been tirelessly striving to raise awareness about the widespread use of plagiarized work in the fashion industry, often by inexperienced students or even established designers from other countries. According to the Diet’s findings, famous fashion designer Anita Dhongre stole ideas from JD institute students.
Legal issues pertaining to intellectual property (such as copyright, trademark, trade design, etc.) are subsets of fashion law. With the emergence and development of new technologies, however, fashion law has begun to be seen as a distinct area of law from Intellectual Property Rights. One of the extremely concentrated specialized laws is the law on fashion. Since the 17th century, fashion has played an important role in French colonies. As the art of cloth design has evolved, it has spread over the world. Still, the primary concern was always with pirating the designs. Matters of contract, labor law, arbitration, intellectual property rights, etc., also fall under the purview of the law. Topics like privacy, consumer preferences, and excessive consumerism are also addressed.
To put it simply, we can’t imagine our lives without the constant presence of fashion. Since its origin, it has been a part of the process of progress, and it has blossomed into a very independent and separate industry that creates new brands and enterprises, employs many people, and contributes significantly to the economy of the country.
As with any artistic endeavor, the fashion industry thrives or flounders on the originality and originality of its designers. Every company and brand in this industry uses exclusivity as a way to target affluent consumers and set themselves apart from the competition. A more well-known name is associated with a higher quality product, which in turn increases sales and profits. Copying and counterfeiting is a major problem in India, and not just because it threatens the livelihood of international fashion labels.
Those who practice fashion law advise and represent clients in a variety of legal matters affecting the fashion, textile, haute couture, luxury, footwear, gemstone, and cosmetics industries. These include a wide range of topics, from licensed innovation/intellectual property, business, and labor, to authorization, marketing, transfer, and diversification contracts.
It’s a matter of safety, control, and consumer safeguards. Increasingly, corporate, land, assessment, and company law are at the forefront of the industry. An attorney who specializes in fashion law may be responsible for everything from creating and negotiating contracts to recognizing and litigating trademark, copyright, and other intellectual property concerns.
To prevent others from stealing the work of designers and depriving the original creators of any credit for their work, rules protecting intellectual property (IP) are necessary. Copyrights act and Design act are the primary pieces of Indian legislation that prevent design theft, but the Trademarks act and the Patents act also play a role.
INJUNCTION IS A CIVIL LAW RIGHT.
Multinational fashion companies in India are at risk from counterfeiting and piracy, and the Indian fashion industry should be granted the ability to safeguard its retail inventory and other assets from these threats. It is possible to bring a lawsuit for injunction that will prevent the accused from using the pirated material.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW AND FAISHON LAW
Legal Issues in the Intersection of the Fashion Industry and Intellectual Property Intellectual property rights (IPR) protect creative works such as books, movies, and songs as well as inventions and other intellectual property. The creator of a revolutionary innovation gets to keep all the profits for themselves. Designs is a form of intellectual property protection for designers, just as there is Copyright for authors and sculptors, a patent for innovations, and trademarks for commercial products and services.
IPR applies to the fashion sector since it involves the creation, production, and distribution of fresh and original designs for clothing, accessories, and jewellery. Those patterns are the result of someone’s brainpower; hence they deserve to be safeguarded by intellectual property law. They have to take measures to prevent the designs from being stolen. The Copyright Act, the Design Act, the Trademarks Act, and the Patents Act are the primary pieces of Indian legislation that protect designers’ work from infringement.
GUARDING ‘DESIGNS’ THEOUGH LAWS
Design is protected by a wide range of statutes and regulations, including those pertaining to intellectual property, commerce, international trade, counterfeiting, fashion law, civil rights, consumers’ rights, privacy, technology, workers’ rights, antitrust, and competition.
India’s legal framework for protecting intellectual property includes the Copyright Act of 1957, the Designs Act of 2000, and the Geographical Indications of Goods Act of 1999. Since this is the case, there are apparently three laws that control the fashion and design sector. The creative works embodied in the conceptual illustrations are shielded by the Copyright Act of 1957. The Design Act of 2000 safeguards the aesthetic qualities of an object or structure, including its form, pattern, line structure, and color sequence, even if they serve no practical purpose. The third schedule of The Design Rules, 2001 includes a comprehensive list of products and commodities for which an application must be submitted to register the design with the government. This design right will remain in effect for ten years, with a possible five-year extension if certain conditions are met.
Both corporate law (which governs marketing and other business-related issues for a fashion company) and labor law (such as India’s Factories Act, 1948) influence the production process. Loans and other financial dealings are regulated by banking legislation. Thanks to the proliferation of online shopping, the fashion sector now has to contend with IT and e-commerce law.
Puma and Gucci/Adidas v Forever 21:
Legal Issue: Design Copying
This year has been a busy one for the lawyers at Forever 21. Rihanna’s fenty line has been embroiled in a legal battle with two of the fashion industry’s biggest names after Adidas accused it of ripping off its trademarked three-stripe design on a variety of goods and Puma, which is owned by Kering, launched a battle over what it argued were clear knockoffs of popular shoe designs. Unfazed, Forever 21 launched a preemptive strike against Gucci for copying the fashion house’s signature grosgrain two-tone striped design on a line of striped clothing.
The high-end label fired back with allegations of infringement, saying that Forever 21 could no longer profit from the blatant theft of its designs. Cases are still open despite similar arguments being made by Adidas and Puma. Since the company’s inception, Forever 21 has defended itself by claiming to produce trendy looks that can’t be trademarked.
There aren’t many precedent-setting decisions concerning trademark and design infringement in the fashion industry, and when they do exist, judges usually have to start by determining whether or not a specific design deserves protection before moving on to determining fault. Hopefully, if a judge decides that Forever 21 stole another brand’s concepts and used them for its own gain, it will discourage future copycat designs and send a message to other companies that the courts are treating lawsuits over designs seriously. Likewise, there may be a meteoric rise in lawsuits alleging theft of designs.
One can safely assume that the fashion business will never decline, as it is constantly adapting to new trends and consumer tastes. Therefore, tighter restrictions are needed to ensure that fair play continues in this sector. The risk of copying and counterfeiting not only costs businesses money, but also discourages imaginative designers from coming up with fresh ideas. Since piracy puts an end to innovation, combating it must be a top priority. The significance of intellectual property law in the fashion business and its effects in the modern, interconnected world are thus made clear by these case studies.
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Article by Deepa Bajaj