Post-Sale Confusion

Traditionally, the main purposes of trademark law are consequentialist by nature. They are to reduce consumer search costs and to create incentives for producers to invest in product quality. If the source of a good is unclear or confusing, then markets will function less efficiently because consumers will expend wasteful resources searching for goods of a particular quality and producers, who will not derive the full benefit of their investments in product quality,.. Read More

Why the Innovative Design Protection Act Is a Good Thing

Although U.S. intellectual property laws cover a wide range of industries, they have lagged behind in the world of fashion design. U.S. laws are much less protective of fashion designs than European laws. Although the U.S. does afford some protection to designers, they currently cannot copyright articles of apparel. Over a century ago, the U.S. Copyright Office decided that all clothing is functional. Because a “useful article” cannot receive copyright protection, clothing designs.. Read More

Star Athletica and the Future of Design Litigation

For decades, the fashion industry has gone without the rigorous copyright protections that other creative industries have enjoyed. That may be rapidly changing. Historically, copyright law has provided little protection to clothing designs. This has led to a thriving, and perfectly legal, market for knock-offs. This is because unlike paintings, movies, songs, or sculptures, clothing designs have long been considered too utilitarian to fit naturally under copyright law – a legal regime built.. Read More