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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Fashion & Design Law

Happy 2016!

Many thanks to Prawfs, for having me back. I just returned from a terrific Association of American Law Schools meeting, and I am gearing up for class tomorrow!

My blog posts will be primarily about Fashion & Design Law, which I will be teaching for the first time this semester. In the introductory chapter to their book Fashion Law: A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives, and Attorneys, Guillermo C. Jimenez and Barbara Kolsun write: “At the heart of both fashion law and entertainment law is IP law. However, fashion-related IP calls into play a number of specific principles not encountered in the entertainment context.” (p.25) They point out that copyright issues arise more in the entertainment context, while trademark issues are more prevalent in the fashion industry. In addition to the intellectual property issues, Jimenez & Kolsun cover commercial law, advertising, licensing, customs, employment law, and other fashion-related topics.

Fashion Law, which is considered a fairly new subject, is not a commonly offered law school course. Susan Scafidi at Fordham Law in New York is apparently the first faculty member to have offered this course at an American law school. Like Entertainment Law, Fashion & Design Law is an intellectual property-related course, and I think is a good addition to our growing intellectual property curriculum. The course also makes sense, given our location in Miami. Our students seem to have some interest and expertise in fashion issues. For instance, I learned that one of my former students from my International Intellectual Property course is the CEO of a fashion company (he had a lot of cross-border transaction questions and comments in class!), and another former student is involved in his family’s shoe business. We also have a fashion-loving student who blogs and tweets about fashion and who has started to connect with the fashion community in Miami.

Even though this is another new course to prepare and I am pre-tenure, I am excited to teach it. The course involves a number of different areas of the law, including lots of contract and intellectual property law, which is fun because I teach both these subjects. Fashion & Design Law also raises a variety of interesting issues that I will discuss in other posts.

In addition to the Jimenez and Kolsun book, I will draw on a variety of materials for the class (i.e. Navigating Fashion Law from Aspatore, Trademark, Unfair Competition, and Business Torts by Barton Beebe, and Trademark & Unfair Competition Law by Dinwoodie & Janis, as well as their book on Trade Dress & Design Law). I have also seen some helpful resources from the American Bar Association. If anyone knows of any additional fashion law teaching resources that could be helpful, I welcome your suggestions.


Posted by Jan OseiTutu on January 10, 2016 at 05:38 PM | Permalink


Great. Many thanks, Amy !

Posted by: Jan OseiTutu | Jan 12, 2016 1:19:50 PM

Looks like a great start. You might wish to add a bit about patents given the trend toward wearables (see coverage of last week's CES in WWD and elsewhere).

Posted by: Amy | Jan 11, 2016 5:29:48 PM

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