Fashion protection bill reintroduced–stock-up on your “little black dresses” now

April 26, 2007 ,

UPDATE: We now have a bill number: HR 2033.

Although we don't have a formal House bill number yet, news reports are saying that Reps. Bob Goodlatte and Bill Delahunt have reintroduced last year's bill, renamed Design Piracy Prohibition Act, which aims to protect fashion designs that are registered. Protection would cover not only clothing but accessories as well, for a three-year duration starting at the date of registry, though the article suggests that some would like to extend the protection from the three years from date of last manufacturer instead. We anticipate the bill will be introduced in otherwise the same form as last year.

The Women's Wear Daily article does a good job discussing both sides of the issue, as the industry itself is split on extending fashion protection beyond design patent and trademark protection, or whether inspiration from the past and contemporaries creates trends and perpetuates market growth.

In case it's not clear from the links above, we think extending copyright protection to fashion is a bad idea: for designers, the fashion industry, and consumers.