EU Looks To Destroy Fashion Innovation; Begins Enforcing Fashion Copyrights
from the a-big-step-backwards dept
We’ve spent plenty of time discussing how innovation thrives in the fashion industry, despite a lack of intellectual property covering designs — as well as rampant copying. In fact, recent studies have shown that the reason the industry is thriving is because of the lack of intellectual property protection — leading to a much more dynamic and competitive environment, leading to a more rapid pace of innovation. However, despite all that innovation going on in the industry, some in the US have been looking to add new intellectual property laws that cover fashion designs. This makes no sense. The purpose of intellectual property laws is to encourage innovation and creation. If the industry is already thriving, there is no sensible rationale for then adding in those laws — unless it’s an attempt to slow down innovation and allow the current leaders some monopoly on the legacy business they’ve already developed. In other words, it’s corporate welfare for the leaders in the space, designed to squeeze out any innovations.
We may start to see just how pointless a move this was, as over in Europe they decided to grant some IP protections to fashion designs a few years ago. Those new regulations had not been enforced… until now. eoinmonty writes in to let us know that a UK designer has won a lawsuit against a retailer for selling clothing that was similar in design to that of a well known designer, Karen Miller. Now, some will argue that this kind of ruling doesn’t hurt innovation because the one getting sued was merely copying. But that’s assuming that the story only goes one-deep. As the research on the fashion industry has shown, when knockoff clothing is made, it simply encourages the brand name designers to continue to design something newer and better, pushing the industry forward. If Karen Miller doesn’t have to worry about competition, then she can rest on her laurels and has less incentive to continue to design yet another new line of clothes, slowing down the pace of innovation in the fashion industry.