Counterfeiting is big business in the UK. Often linked to organised crime networks, people trafficking and slave labour, it is a highly dangerous criminalised industry, and it costs UK consumers hundreds of million pounds per year. Counterfeiters generally (although not exclusively) target well-known designer brands, manufacturing knock-off products either in the UK or overseas and then selling them in city markets across the UK or online. The targeted brands will often have online and offline IP strategies in place to tackle this type of infringing activity and are well equipped to take action against it.
However, there is another worrying trend in fashion as some smaller fashion brands or fashion students are having their designs stolen. For these designers, the idea of pursuing legal action against a large party (or indeed any party) for infringement may seem impossible either because of the perceived high cost of doing so, or the concern that the legal action will not be successful. Many young designers have taken to social media platforms such as Instagram to name and shame retailers who have copied their designs. While the negative PR can be off-putting for copycats, it doesn’t ultimately deter them.
So, what can be done to help protect against copying?
You can read the rest of the article on the CITMA website here
Fashion / Trademarks / Designs & Copyright / IP basics
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