New Bill Proposed To Protect Designers From The Knockoff Biz

A new bill to appease the fashion industry’s gripes with copycat issues has been proposed by Senator Charles Schumer. Interestingly, the bill doesn’t exactly cut down the Forever 21s and Steve Maddens, but proposes that construction, rather than an intellectual idea, is most key when considering a copyright case. Reports The New York Times: “The proposed legislation provides very limited intellectual property protection to the most original design. A designer who claims that his work has been copied must show that his design provides ‘a unique, distinguishable, non-trivial and non-utilitarian variation over prior designs.’ And it must be proven by the designer that the copy is ‘substantially identical’ to the original so as to be mistaken for it.” This puts designers in a weird position of not being able to call out potential knockoffs for color or patterns, so much as the unique construction of a garment. What does this all mean? Well, if high-end designers are offended when they see their styles trickle down into Forever 21, they need to continue to make their pieces incredibly unique (as in cuts you’ve never seen before and completely new concepts). If the bill passes, it will be interesting to see if it changes what comes down the runway! [New York Times]

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