There’s nothing more frustrating for a fashion designer than to have his creations stolen. First of all, your fashion designs are your work of art. New clothing and accessory designs start with the right choice of color combinations and carefully drawn patterns that reveal your creativity and uniqueness as an artist.
Likewise, your designs are not just your work of art but also your source of income. Your fashion ideas are your fashion business’ costly assets that deserve to be protected from concept thieves. Thus, you have to do everything you can to safeguard your designs. Here are some tips on how you can protect your fashion ideas and designs from theft.
Put everything in writing
Whether you’re pitching for a potential client or you’re sending your design for production, make sure to keep a paper trail.
Documented agreements and discussions with clients and suppliers can come in handy in case you need evidence that the design is yours.
Another way to protect your concepts is by letting workers and clients sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This will discourage your workers to sell your designs or copy your ideas in case they decide to start their own business.
However, be extra careful when letting clients sign an NDA as some clients may not be comfortable with it. In case your client doesn’t agree to sign an NDA, you may just include a confidentiality statement in your business contract.
Register for copyright
Copyright is the legal protection extended to the owner of the rights in an original work.
According to the Intellectual Office of the Philippines (IOP), “original work” covers every production in the artistic, literary, and scientific domains.
Generally, the term of protection of copyright for original works is the life of the author, plus 50 years after his death.
To make sure your original fashion designs are protected from idea theft, file an application for a certificate of copyright registration with the Copyright Division of the National Library and the Supreme Court Library.
You may check the IOP website for information about how to register.
Know your intellectual property rights
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