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Do you know how to protect your fashion designs?

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Ivanka Trump's clothing and jewelry lines have been pulled from a number of retail stores in recent weeks. Other retailers - including T.J. Maxx and Marshalls - have stopped promoting her brand, choosing instead to mix her products in with other name brands in their stores.

Nordstrom blames lagging sales in 2016 as its reason for dropping her designs, denying that the boycott instigated by Grab Your Wallet had anything to do with it. Other big-name retailers are still contemplating similar moves.

Ivanka Trump's intellectual property woes

This is not the first time Ivanka has faced problems with her fashion designs. Last year, she was sued for allegedly stealing shoe designs from an Italian company, Aquazzura. That litigation has yet to be resolved.

Whether you are a new and up-coming clothing designer or have a well-established clothing line, the threat of knock-offs is very real. An entire industry revolves around creating copycat designs that sell for much less than the originals, dealing a financial blow to the fashion industry in the billions of dollars each year.

Protecting your fashion designs from counterfeiting copycats

No one is completely safe from the black market. However, an experienced intellectual property attorney can advise you of your rights and explain your options for protecting your fashion designs. Alternatives often include:

  • Copyrights: Copyright law can protect certain aspects of your designs provided they are original, creative and separable from the clothing items they adorn.
  • Design patents: Design patents protect ornamental designs of functional items. For example, a unique piece of jewelry.
  • Trademarks: Trademark laws can protect logos, names and distinctive elements.
  • Trade dress: A unique combination of features (when viewed together as a unit) may be protectable under trade dress law even when each feature used is not.

Intellectual property concepts and laws can be very confusing, especially since there are areas where they overlap. Often, a few distinct aspect of IP law must be used together in order to provide the highest level of protection.

A skilled lawyer can help you navigate this area of law and can advise you about the best forms of protection for your intellectual property. The law firm of The Myers Law Group can help.

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