Major stores selling fast fashion are copying designers for profit.
Perhaps one of the larger problems that the fashion industry is facing today is fast fashion knocking off high-end designers.
You might have already heard that major retailer, Target, is being sued by British designer Burberry. Why? They copied Burberry’s signature print. Target is considered a discount chain while Burberry is a luxury designer. So, the British brand is seeking $2 million in damages for each trademark that Target has copied. Also, they want all of their legal fees covered.
Copycat fashion is when lesser brands including fast fashion brands copy high end designers. And you might have seen it already yourself. When you go to the mall, haven’t you seen Zara, Forever 21 and other fast fashion retailers with similar items to high end designers?
And although most will say that Burberry is known for its signature check print, fashion doesn’t have the same copyright protection as literature, film, art and other forms of creativity. So, it leaves designers such as Burberry vulnerable to infringement.
Target has been accused of copying Burberry’s signature look on their scarves. And other lesser brands have been accused of copying a designer item completely. Forever 21 has been accused of copying Gucci, Diane von Furstenberg, Adidas and Puma.
There are ways that a company can protect its design, but they are time-consuming and expensive to do. They can use trade dress trademark laws for the patterns, color and unique design elements that are inherent to a specific item. However, this takes time and money and is not even recognized by everyone.
Designers can even file for a patent, but this can also take literally years. And this is a lengthy process that many don’t have the time to take on. And in the meantime, knock offs from lesser retailers can be created and sold much to the frustration of the original designer.
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