Fashion is a big, creative industry which is responsible for sales of almost $200 billion in the US. While the US provides good protection through its intellectual property law for works such as books, movies, and music, it offers only little protection for fashion designs. Fashion designs in the US can be easily copied - this concept of copying someone else's fashion design is known as 'style piracy.' There are people who think that the lacking system of protection for fashion designs is actually beneficial, this is called the 'piracy paradox.' Opponents of this piracy paradox argue that style piracy destroys the incentives to create and thereby diminishes innovation. This master thesis discusses the debate between the supporters and opponents of the 'low IP-equilibrium' for fashion designs in the US. Through a comparative study, it will enable the reader to understand the current framework of protection for fashion designs in the US and the way in which it differs with the European framework. The main focus is to show in what way the US lacks sufficient protection for fashion designs and whether this protection should be strengthened. Thesis.
Publication Date: 6/1/2011