(AFP) – Dec 1, 2010
WASHINGTON — A key US Senate panel on Wednesday approved a bill to protect unique fashion designs -- like eye-catching, one-of-a-kind dresses worn on the Oscars red carpet -- from copycat manufacturers.
The Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed the "Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act" by voice vote, setting the stage for action by the full Senate.
The bill covers "an article of men's, women's, or children's clothing, including undergarments, outerwear, gloves, footwear, and headgear; handbags, purses, wallets, tote bags, and belts; and eyeglass frames."
Rather than protect a name brand or logo -- Louis Vuitton, Lacoste, or other popular targets of piracy -- the legislation would punish those who design, manufacture and sell knock-offs of high fashion items.
Protected items would have to be "the result of a designer's own creative endeavor" and "provide a unique, distinguishable, non-trivial and non-utilitarian variation over prior designs for similar types of articles."
The measure includes a "home sewing exception" sparing an individual who makes a single copy of a protected design for themselves or an immediate family member as long as that item is not for sale or trade.
It was not clear whether the whole US Senate would act on the measure during the year-end "lame duck" session."
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »