New Fashion Law Institute

Further to Francesca’s Re Manning’s post on September 1st “the changing styles of intellectual property“, Kai Ryssdal of NPR’s Marketplace interviewed Susan Scafidi, the director of Fordham University’s new Fashion Law Institute. 

You can read or listen to the short interview at: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/09/13/pm-confronting-piracy-in-the-world-of-fashion/

And visit the Institute’s web site at: http://law.fordham.edu/fashion-law-institute/fashionlaw.htm

Working in partnership with CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America, the key sponsor) the Institute will provide Fordham Law students with opportunities to become leaders in this emerging field. Students will develop skills in diverse areas of the law that affect the fashion industry, including intellectual property, business and finance, international trade and government regulation, and consumer culture and civil rights.

When asked about copyright, Scafidi commented:

You cannot copyright a fashion design in the United States at this point. However, I have been very involved working on legislation* that would permit copyrighting of fashion designs, or rather a very, very short-term form of copyrighting — a three-year copyright. A good fashion lawyer needs to know the basics of the intellectual property system, but also get creative and borrow from areas of intellectual property law that might apply. We’re talking about the trademarks that protect labels and logos, for example. So it’s about getting creative with the lot out there and learning to apply it to the special needs of the fashion industry…..

And finished with:

….So fashion law is catching up with how the culture is starting to perceive fashion.

Scafidi comes across as someone who has learned how to “connect the dots”, and we can expect to see some innovation in this sector where, traditionally, the pirates have ruled. 

* Shumer’s, no doubt.

Post written by Peter Bloch, consultant to CAS-IP

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