Intellectual Property Rights in Fashion

For a long time, and not so many years from now, every concept and issue about fashion was summarized in design, models, fashion designers, fashion shows, catwalks, etc. However, even at that time, protection of the designs and Intellectual Property and the related rights played a role, although during recent years, IP rights have turned into a leading role, generating more than USD 2 trillion per year.

While the specifics of IP protection can vary across jurisdictions (and thanks to different conventions, these differences have been minimized in recent years), this doesn’t imply that safeguarding fashion designs is impossible. Even in countries like Iran, where copyright protection may pose some challenges, the fashion industry is far from defenseless in the battle against infringement.

However, legal expert consultancy could be very helpful in this field to protect the related authorities. They can predict and see almost all of the possible issues. In this regard, Karimi & Associates Law Firm, with an experienced and professional team, can provide excellence in service.

IP Law Role and the Related Issues

The protection of fashion designs, copyrights, and designers’ exclusive IP rights becomes more difficult with the growth of social media and evolving buyer culture. However, IP law is ready to protect rights as much as it can.

The fashion industry is completely dynamic, and designs play a leading role in this colorful and enchanting world. Designs are the basic element and essence of brands. Whether in Versace’s iconic Medusa design or Nike’s swoosh, the design plays an epic role. So, we need IP to protect the design and create a legal framework for it. IP can give companies the power and courage to make their brand identity robust.

In other words, it protects the designs from illegal use by others, and they should acquire the consent of the design owner. This is how they can get closer to monetizing the design effectively.

IP Types in the Fashion Industry


Copyright refers to the sole legal entitlement to create, duplicate, disseminate, or present an original work of art or literature. Copyright protection is in effect for 75 years following the owner’s passing or 25 years following the artistic work’s first commercial use. Copyright holders are granted multiple rights, such as the ability to reproduce, distribute, make copies available, rent, lend, and share the work with the public through electronic or broadcast media.


The duty of trademarks in the fashion industry is the protection of the names and logos, which are essential not only for the creators but also for the consumers. Logos assist the consumers in recognizing manufacturers. If a logo is not trademarked, other companies may use it on their designs, which could damage the reputation of the original brand. We do not want this to happen, and because of that, the Trademark in Iran is strongly protected. Therefore, by consulting legal experts, fashion designers and other brand owners can enjoy the potential of the Iranian market.


In order to qualify for registered protection, a design must be unique and fresh, which means it must differ significantly from existing designs on the market.

A registered design is protected for up to 25 years, and if you, as an owner, intend to take action for infringement enforcement, you will not be required to prove that the design was copied; this means that you have the protected right thoroughly. The protection time for unregistered designs is 10 years from the entry date to the market, and the infringement action is opposite to the registered design. As a design owner, you have the obligation to prove that the design was copied.

Because of the high speed of design changes and the fashion revolutions happening faster than in the past, most designers prefer to have the unregistered type of design right; however, it is better to register it to take more advantages and stronger legal protections.

How about Iran?

When it comes to IP protection in Iran, the first issue noticed is copyright and differences in Iran’s rules in this field. However, it must be noted that because of Iran’s membership in Madrid convection, it is quite feasible to protect their brands and trademarks or register them in Iran, which would solidly protect their rights. Furthermore, different regulations in Iran protect designers’ IP rights. One of the most important ones is the Patents, Industrial Designs, and Trademarks Act.

Therefore, the rights of designers and brand owners are protected in Iran, especially with the membership in the Madrid Convention. However, getting consultancy from local legal experts with international knowledge plays a vital role in this process since the practical aspect has some complexity that requires expertise in international and local regulations. Karimi and Associates Law Firm, with a team of experts in international trade law, international contracts, and IP law, would help register brands and trademarks in Iran, and you can smoothly complete the registration procedures without encountering any issues.

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