The fashion industry is a highly competitive and creative industry, which makes it essential for designers to protect their intellectual property (IP) rights. In this article, we will discuss some ways in which intellectual property can be protected in the fashion industry, with citations to support our claims.

  1. Patents: Patents can protect new and innovative technologies used in the fashion industry. For example, Nike holds several patents on its Flyknit technology, which enables the creation of lightweight and breathable shoes.

  2. Trademarks: Trademarks can protect brand names, logos, and slogans. For example, the Chanel double C logo is a registered trademark and is protected from unauthorized use.

  3. Copyrights: Copyrights can protect original designs and creative works, such as fashion illustrations, patterns, and photographs. For example, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg holds copyrights on her iconic wrap dress design.

  4. Design Patents: Design patents protect ornamental designs of functional items. In the fashion industry, design patents can protect the unique designs of jewelry, handbags, and other accessories. For example, Tiffany & Co. has a design patent on its diamond engagement ring design.

  5. Trade Secrets: Trade secrets can protect confidential information, such as manufacturing processes, customer lists, and business strategies. In the fashion industry, trade secrets can protect exclusive relationships with suppliers and manufacturers.

It is important to note that intellectual property protection is only as strong as its enforcement. Companies must be vigilant and take legal action when their intellectual property rights are infringed upon. This may include sending cease-and-desist letters, filing lawsuits, or seeking arbitration.

In conclusion, the fashion industry can protect intellectual property rights through various means such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, design patents, and trade secrets. However, companies must also be proactive in enforcing their intellectual property rights to maintain a competitive advantage and protect their creative works.


  1. USPTO. (n.d.). Design Patents. Retrieved from

  2. United States Copyright Office. (n.d.). Copyright Protection for Fashion. Retrieved from

  3. World Intellectual Property Organization. (n.d.). Trade Secrets. Retrieved from

  4. Lipton, R., & Sumner, S. (2016). Fashion Law: A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives, and Attorneys. Bloomsbury Publishing.

  5. Burberry Limited v. Target Corporation. (2018). Retrieved from