After a year of negotiations with fashion industry members, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has introduced the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act which would extend copyright protection to design of apparel, footwear, and accessories and protect such works from being copied and reproduced. To qualify for protection under the proposed Act, the design must be “a unique, distinguishable, non-trivial and non-utilitarian variation over prior designs” and the copy must be “substantially identical” to the original so as to be mistaken for it. The design need not be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. The proposed Act provides an exception for home sewers who will be permitted to copy a protected design for personal use or the use of a family member. If passed, the Bill would provide protection to new and original designs for three years after they were first introduced to the market.
To view the proposed Bill, click here.