"Made In The USA" - Is it glamourous, patriotic or just good business sense?
Nanette Lepore has been on the forefront and dedicated to this movement. Is this reinvigorating the NY and LA garment districts? Are more & more designers moving toward this movement? Even more importantly, are consumers looking at the labels or are they just interested in the retail price?
The Row, Rag & Bone, Oscar de la Renta, Lela Rose, J. Brand, Jason Wu, Racquel Allegra, Lauren Moshi & Velvet by Graham & Spencer are some the the dedicated Made In The USA designers.
What are fashion designers legal rights for protecting their designs?
Here is a small piece of the copyright law explained on http://www.copyright.gov/docs/regstat072706.html
Design Protection Available under Existing Law
"Past proposals for sui generis design protection legislation have sprung from a perceived lack of adequate protection at the federal level for the designs of useful articles. All three branches of federal intellectual property protection - copyright, patent and trademark - protect certain aspects of useful articles. In the aggregate, however, they provide only limited coverage(10) for the following reasons:
First, copyright protection for the designs of useful articles is extremely limited. The design of a useful article(11) is protected under copyright "only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article."(12) According to the House report accompanying the copyright revision bill, the test for separability can be met by showing either physical or conceptual separability.(13) The purpose of the test is "to draw as clear a line as possible between copyrightable works of applied art and uncopyrighted works of industrial design."(14) In keeping with this congressional intent, courts have applied the separability test in a way that excludes most industrial designs from copyright protection.(15) The Copyright Office has been similarly restrictive in its registration practices.(16)
Second, design patents are difficult and expensive to obtain, and entail a lengthy examination process. An applicant for a design patent must meet the generally applicable standards of invention(17) - e.g., novelty and non-obviousness.(18) Many original designs that provide a distinguishable and appealing variation over prior designs for similar articles will fail to meet these standards. Even under the reduced fee schedule for small entities, the filing fee for a design patent is $100, the issue fee is $400, and the maintenance fees over the life of the patent are $3,500. This does not include attorneys' fees for prosecuting the application. It is our understanding that the process of applying for a design patent can take several years, which exceeds the life expectancy of the market for many designs.
Third, trademark law does not provide general protection for designs as such. Rather, it protects certain product configurations that serve to identify the source of the product.(19) Aspects of product design that do not serve to identify source are not protected.(20) Even to the extent that a product configuration qualifies for protection under trademark law, the protection is only against uses of the design that confuse or mislead consumers, or create a substantial likelihood of such confusion.(21)"
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