Published 16/02/2018 by CIONCA Team
Fashion and IP Law at the OCIPLA February 2018 Luncheon
Part of the CIONCA Law team attended the OCIPLA’s February Luncheon, featuring guest speakers Attorneys Farah Bhatti and Victoria Burke. OCIPLA (Orange County Intellectual Property Law Association) is a prestigious IP law organization, with almost 400 IP law professionals as members. Our firm supports OCIPLA through sponsorship and Attorney Cionca’s involvement as a board member.
This month’s topic addressed IP Protections for Fashion and Apparel. The intersection of intellectual property and fashion is emergent, and with fashion’s frequently changing nature and increasing number of players, questions arise regarding how one can protect his or her intellectual property in the industry. As a panel, Attorneys Bhatti and Burke shared their thoughts and opinions on how to maximize IP protection in such a competitive market.
It was discussed that there are a few prominent areas within the realm of IP law, one of which is copyright protection. As defined by the US Copyright Office, “Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression...[and] covers both published and unpublished works.” Regarding to copyright, it is possible to copyright some features of clothing (e.g., fabric prints), but not necessarily the clothing designs themselves. One important question to be answered is: Is the design feature separable—physically or conceptually—from the clothing article?
A second ground covered by the speakers was the possibility of filing for patents in the fashion world. While design patents may be perceived as the only choice, utility patents are still possible to attain for your fashion if the product functions beyond simply being apparel. For example, an article of clothing that also warms the wearer with an incorporated heating element may be eligible for a utility patent.
One last area of IP law as it relates to fashion addressed by the speakers was trademarks and trade dresses. This appears to be the most turbulent branch of IP law in terms of the fashion industry since source identifiers (i.e., trademarks) play a significant role in market success. While a common first thought/instinct is to protect brand name, it is important to keep in mind that the value of non-traditional trademarks should not be underestimated. The distinctness of a stitching, for example, may be enough to strongly identify a source and make an impression on consumers. Furthermore, an ornamental feature, such as unique stitching of a product, may overtime develop into trade dress registrable as a trademark, although secondary meaning is required.
Regarding the enforcement of IP law rights, under copyright or trademark law for example, an accused design/product or trademark or brand do not have to be identical copies to be infringing, as long as there is a suggestion that there may be a relationship between the accused and the original/known brand.
While social media can be used as a tool for the start-up and freelance artist, it should be utilized with caution. As a product’s promotion gains more traction, it runs the risk of becoming a larger target for more social media aficionados and/or more prominent competitors to covet.
Marin11/18/2015 6:11:11 PM
PTAB Decisions Give Examples of Patent Eligible Subject Matter
Marin11/18/2015 6:15:40 PM
Covered Business Method Claims Are Not Required to Particularly Target Financial Industry
Marin11/18/2015 7:31:35 PM
When Is a Thesis Prior Art?
Marin11/19/2015 2:13:05 PM
An Innovator’s Dilemma: Design or Utility Patent?
Marin1/28/2016 9:10:56 PM
How Unpredictability Can Affect Obviousness Challenges
Marin1/28/2016 9:15:16 PM
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board Designates Two Decisions as Precedential
M. Cionca and I. Kim2/4/2016 5:55:16 PM
Software Inventions Are Still Patentable!
Marin Cionca2/16/2016 6:34:53 PM
In IPRs, patentees have to show that substitute patent claims are patentable
I. Kim PhD2/26/2016 8:47:51 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court Will Review Claim Construction Standards and Institution Decision Reviewability.
Iris Kim, PhD3/25/2016 8:34:14 PM
Challenging a Claim’s Validity with Different Standards of Claim Construction
Marin Cionca5/17/2016 8:57:23 PM
Patent Claims Rejection Based on Inherency
Iris Kim, PhD6/1/2016 7:04:50 PM
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board Designates Five More Decisions as Precedential
Marin Cionca9/6/2016 9:26:12 PM
Patent Case Law: New Example of Software as Patentable Subject Matter
Marin Cionca9/15/2016 9:47:39 PM
Patent Law Alert: Federal Circuit Opens Door for More Software Patents
Marin Cionca2/21/2017 12:30:52 AM
Software Patent Law Update: Federal Circuit Finds Graphical User Interface Patentable
Marin Cionca4/25/2017 9:48:49 PM
Monetization of Patents: How to Make Money with Patents
CIONCA - Staff6/15/2017 5:32:14 PM
Patent Law: Challenging the Patent Claim Definiteness Requirement
CIONCA - Staff6/28/2017 8:26:07 PM
Patent Law: Conditions Precedent May Expose Method Claim to Broad Interpretation During Prosecution
CIONCA - Staff8/9/2017 5:39:58 PM
Patent Case Study: The Novelty Of An “Invention” Is NOT Enough To Make It Patentable
CIONCA Staff8/20/2017 3:16:11 PM
CIONCA on Patents: Think Twice Before Suing for Patent Infringement and Fight Back when Unreasonably Sued
staff9/15/2017 9:33:30 PM
staff9/27/2017 5:00:12 PM
Claim Indefiniteness During Patent Pre-Issuance: Define Your Invention, Not Just Your Audience
staff9/27/2017 5:12:07 PM
CIONCA - Patent and Trademark Law Attorney
Staff9/28/2017 7:27:22 PM
Staff11/3/2017 4:20:04 PM
An Introduction to Provisional Patent Applications
11/10/2017 6:47:44 PM
An Introduction to Design Patent Applications
11/17/2017 1:24:20 PM
An Introduction to Patent Searches
12/1/2017 8:01:27 PM
An Introduction to Patent Cooperation Treaty Applications
12/26/2017 6:04:25 PM
CIONCA Sets Foot in San Francisco
1/2/2018 7:47:09 PM
The Lanham Act: Disparagement Provision Violates the First Amendment
CIONCA Team1/17/2018 8:12:06 PM
A Fork in the Road: Production or Protection?
CIONCA Team2/16/2018 4:07:48 PM
Fashion and Intellectual Property
3/8/2018 1:25:46 PM
Proceed with Caution: Consider Carefully when Narrowing Claims for Allowance
3/20/2018 12:50:05 PM
Andrei Iancu - New Director of the USPTO
CIONCA Staff4/13/2018 9:10:04 PM
It Take Two to Tango: Knowles v. Iancu, a Standing Dispute in a PTAB Decision
CIONCA Staff4/20/2018 5:25:25 PM
USPTO Changes Examination Procedure Pertaining to Subject Matter Eligibility in View of Berkheimer v. HP, Inc.
5/4/2018 7:37:51 PM
The Hague System for Protection of International Designs
CIONCA IP5/17/2018 9:54:58 PM
Marin Cionca Presents at OCIPLA May 2018 Luncheon
Marin Cionca, Esq.
Registered Patent Attorney
USPTO Reg. No. 63899
About our IP law firm: We are an Orange County, CA based boutique intellectual property firm with a focus on patent and trademark application, prosecution and opinion services, offering its IP services primarily at flat fee rates. We serve local OC clients, as well as clients throughout US and international clients.
We’d love to hear from you…we just need a little info
about your plans to take over the world!
P.S…Feel free to call us! (800)985-9198
Thank you for your message. We will respond within 24-72 hours. Thank you.