Here is another one of my educational intellectual property posts. The take away is similar to my previous fashion law posts: in fashion, imitation can be seen as infringement–not flattery.
I found these blinged out iPhone cases on an Etsy’s seller’s page and made a collage out of them for your viewing pleasure. From the looks of it, the seller, slave2beauty, is truly talented. Unfortunately, these glam cases are okay when made for personal use but turning a profit on someone else’s intellectual property? Not so okay.
|I am reposting these images under my Fair Use rights, not to be confused with copyright infringement!|
How do these cases tie into intellectual property (IP) issues, and particularly fashion law?
Well, if you have not guessed it, trademark law and copyright law may be at play depending on the elements copied.
I wonder how long this user will make these cases before receiving a cease and desist letter*. Not long if someone forwards my blog post to Mr. Pantalony (the lawyer who sent U Penn Law School a cease and desist). Slave2beauty opened up shop March 6, 2012 so it is likely that her work just has not yet come to the attention of relevant IP owners. I think Louis Vuitton and Lady Gaga rigorously police their brands, so the death of these cute infringing phone accessories may come soon.
Would you buy accessories like these even though they do not support the brand owner?