Minnesota Law Review

Note, The Sartorial Dilemma of Knockoffs: Protecting Moral Rights without Disturbing the Fashion Dynamic

As soon as fashion models hit the runway, copycat designers snap photos and quickly replicate the original designs, flooding the market with nearly identical, discount versions of the original garments. In response to this phenomenon of fashion piracy, members of the fashion design community have been advocating for a fashion design copyright for nearly a century. With the rise of new technology and evolving consumer behaviors, copycat fashion is more rampant than ever before. However, critics of a fashion design copyright claim that protection for fashion designs is unnecessary because the fashion industry is thriving, and sharing ideas is a vital part of the fashion process.

The Note analyzes the most recent fashion design copyright bill, the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act, and it evaluates arguments from proponents and critics of the legislation. The Note contends that a sui generis copyright protection will create more harm than good, and a limited attribution-focused solution would be a better fit for the fashion industry. It presents a solution that provides a limited protection to fashion designs via a certification mark or a collective mark. This solution seeks common ground in providing designers with a means to protect their name, while still allowing competition and preserving the unique copying dynamic within the fashion industry.

:: View PDF

De Novo

  • Case Comment: Bhogaita v. Altamonte

    EVERY DOG CAN HAVE HIS DAY IN COURT: THE USE OF ANIMALS AS DEMONSTRATIVE EXHIBITS Kyle R. Kroll, Volume 100, Online Managing Editor In Bhogaita v. Altamonte, the Eleventh Circuit recently decided whether to allow a dog in the courtroom as a demonstrative exhibit.[1] Although the case presented many serious [...]

  • Revisiting Water Bankruptcy

    REVISITING WATER BANKRUPTCY IN CALIFORNIA’S FOURTH YEAR OF DROUGHT Olivia Moe, Volume 100, Managing Editor This spring, as “extreme” to “exceptional” drought stretched across most of California—indicating that a four-year streak of drought was not about to resolve itself[1]—Governor Jerry Brown issued an unprecedented order to reduce potable urban water [...]

  • Defying Auer Deference

    DEFYING AUER DEFERENCE: SKIDMORE AS A SOLUTION TO CONSERVATIVE CONCERNS IN PEREZ v. MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION Nicholas R. Bednar, Volume 100, Lead Articles Editor* On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association.[1]F The Court overturned the D.C. [...]