Brazilian lawyers are finally starting to pay closer attention to the fashion industry and Fashion Law is starting to gain more popularity in the country.
After my very modest presentation about Fashion Law in a small panel in last year's XXXI International Intellectual Property Congress, the subject was escalated to one of the main panels of the event with the participation of key players of the Brazilian fashion industry.
|Osklen Summer 2013 @ São Paulo Fashion Week|
Oskar Metsavaht, founder of Osklen (one of the few Brazilian apparel companies that succeeded internationally) and Paulo Borges, organizer of the São Paulo Fashio Week pointed out the main intellectual property challenges for the industry.
For Oskar Metsavaht trademarks are the main protection instrument used in the fashion industry and the reason that they do not seek design protection is that infringers usually get away and consumers keep on buying counterfeits. He also suggested that it would be necessary skilled professionals to examine fashion designs, given the subtle differences among them. For him such professionals would have a background in law, arts and design.
Oskar Metsavaht bolstered that there is plenty of originality and creativity in the fashion industry and that copies cannot be justified with "inspiration" argument.
Fast fashion was also a hot topic in the discussion. For Oskar Metsavaht although everybody has the right to use trends, no one has the right to copy and sell cheaper. According to him, copiers should identify they are copying and pay the due royalties.
Paulo Borges followed the same opinion and said that copies generate economic loss, deteriorates the brand and in the long term diminishes the incentives to innovate.
The International Intellectual Property Congress is the main IP event in the country and it is organized by the Intellectual Property Brazilian Association (ABAPI). This year's congress was held in São Paulo, during August, 26 to 28.