Fashion business is one of the industries in the modern world, behind which hundreds of billions of dollars of money come from the global economy. Statistics show that some of the richest companies in the world are fashion giants such as ZARA (valued at 66 billion dollars), Luxottica Group (the largest glass-making company under the brands Hut, Ray -Ban "and" Oakley "," Burberry "," Chanel "," Prada " and " Versace "- estimated at $ 30 billion), LVMH (70 luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Hennessy, - estimated at $ 28 billion), H & M (estimated at $ 26 billion), and so on. Behind the commercial success of these companies naturally stands the protection afforded by their intellectual property, which is strictly defended all over the world. The way this protection is structured as a legislative basis and practice is the subject of this article.
1.Copyright Law and Fashion. In accordance with the principles of the Berne Convention, any original work of art is automatically protected by copyright worldwide, and this also applies to the works of fashion design under Article 2, paragraph 7, of the Convention. Obviously, the copyright object of protection that concerns fashion is the artistic design of any garment, shoe, hat or belt, and parts of it. Copyright laws worldwide, including the Bulgarian Copyright and Related Rights Act, protect original prints and patterns, unique colors and new combinations of graphic elements used for clothing and accessories. Each legislation builds in this context certain specific rules.
1.1. Copyright Law on Fashion in the United States. US Copyright Act advocates that fashion design can be protected only if and only to the extent that the protected design includes identifiable picture, graphic, or sculptural elements or exist separately and are capable of being perceived independently by the utilitarian aspects of the article itself - such as a belt. The American courts accept in this context that an element of the design is virtually separable in two cases:
- when the design itself can be removed from the garments and sold separately (e.g. belt buckle);
- where the design as such is a conceptually separable part, consisting of artistic and artistic features which do not contribute to the immaterial aspect of clothing and entail its different functionality (for example, a Halloween costume).
In 2006, The US Congress was introduced to discuss the "Innovative Design Protection Act", better known as the "Fashion Bill". Until 2012 He underwent six changes as soon as his final version is expected.