Friday 27 May 2016

Second Course on IP and the Fashion Industry

Bond Street
Author Surgeonsmate
Source Wikipedia
Creative Commons Licence

Jane Lambert

I am running a day long course on IP and the fashion industry for MBL at the London Bridge Novotel on 2 June 2016. It you want to attend it will set you back £480 unless you have a "smart plan" or season ticket and even then it will cost you £216 for the former and £240 for the latter. That's quite a lot of money that you or your firm would have to shell out and you will almost certainly want to know what you get for that money.

When MBL asked me to propose a synopsis for the course I looked at blogs like Wigs and Gowns and The Fashion Law, courses like the ones offered in the USA by Fordham University's Fashion Law Institute and announced by the London College of Fashion earlier this year (see Katie King London College of Fashion unveils first of its kind law course 20 Jan 2016 Legal Cheek) and conferences like the one run by the Italian government and the WIPO at Caserta in 2005. I read some recent cases involving fashion and retain brands in the Fleet Streets and Reports of Patent Cases and made a keyword search of BAILII and the IPO websites. I could find no consistency of approach whatsoever.

I had more luck looking through my old opinions and pleadings and talking to some of the solicitors and patent and trade mark agents who had instructed me. It occurred to me that the starting point might be to imagine the sort of clients who would attend a course on law and the fashion industry and find out what interests them most.

The first conclusion I reached is that it is unhelpful to talk about the fashion industry. There are in fact several industries which include couturiers, Savile Row tailors, garment and textile manufacturers, importers and wholesalers, high street retailers and internet distributors. They all have different concerns and are often interested in a different IP issues.

I have structured the course around three themes:

  • Advising the designer;
  • Advising the manufacturer; and 
  • Advising the retailer.
I introduce each topic with a general summary of the law and then offer questions for discussion such as "What are the IP issues in selling on line?" and "How (if at all) does the Supreme Court's decision in Trunki affect textile, garment, jewellery and accessory designers?" That enables delegates to learn from each other as well as from me and I've learned from attendees too.

I have now run two courses on IP for the fashion industry for MBL. One at the Novotel where I found out what worked (see IP and Fashion Law 12 Sept 2015) and what did not and another in Leeds where everything seemed to go like clockwork. My third talk at the Novotel will follow the formula that worked in Leeds. 

I am looking forward to this course very much and I hope that my attendees enjoy the day too. If you want to find out more about this seminar call me on 020 7404 5252 or contact me on message form.

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