Marsh Quoted on Protecting Against Design Theft in Fashion Industry

Consumer Products Industry Group Co-Leader and New York Fashion Lawyer Michelle Mancino Marsh was quoted by BuzzFeed discussing the prevalence of design theft in the fashion industry, the importance of proactive legal measures for design protection, and the value of anti-counterfeiting programs in educating public and law enforcement about identifying knockoffs.

Designers and brands are increasingly facing the unauthorized replication and sale of their designs by other retailers. 

"Sadly, this is a very common and frustrating occurrence for brands,” Michelle said, and recommended that brands proactively secure their intellectual property (IP) prior to launch. “Brands can and should seek legal advice early on in the design process to maximize their legal power and protect their designs from bad actors."

She added, "One of the cheapest and most effective types of intellectual property to obtain is copyright protection for original works, which can include clothing, footwear, and jewelry designs. In short, proactivity is power, and designers should get their designs evaluated for legal protection as early as possible."

Michelle explained that there are a variety of factors to consider when brands seek to protect their IP.

"They may have certain rights in their designs depending on the uniqueness of the design and depending on whether they have taken the effort to protect them using the available patent, copyright, and trademark laws in the jurisdiction where they reside or where they developed the design," she said.

"Some brands also invest heavily in anti-counterfeiting programs, including educating the public and law enforcement officials, such as US Customs officers, on how to identify knockoffs," she added.

Read the full article here.


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