Miranda Nolan


Fashion is both inherently utilitarian and ultra-creative at the same time and exists in a gray area in terms of legal protection. Some aspects of fashion are protectable by various aspects of intellectual property. For example, trademark law can protect the logo on a bag. However, fashion as a whole does not fit squarely in any intellectual property protection available in the United States, which allows knockoffs to be legally allowed. This Note provides a comprehensive analysis of the intellectual property protections available in the United States to certain aspects of fashion and what types of copying and inspiration-taking expands the world of fashion as opposed to hurting fashion designers and their ability to create. This Note argues that knocksoffs promote the fashion industry while counterfeits hurt fashion overall by providing an overview of the types of intellectual property protection available in the United States and how they apply to different elements of fashion design.

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