Protecting the legacy of the ritzy brand Gianni Versace S.p.A through patents and copyrights was perhaps the most important strategy adopted by Donatella after Gianni Versace died dramatically on July 15, 1997. Brand Versace got its time-honoured ‘Medusa Head’ logo protected in 1998. And now the brand’s logo is safe till 2013. An artist getting inspired by another’s work is no surprise in the case of creative industries; but when this alleged inspiration borders on plagiarism, while Italian designer brands like Versace, Cavalli, and Prada have resorted to both legal and police action to protect their IPRs, in the Indian scenario, leave accusations flying left and right, extremely less has been actually done legally and objectively by Indian fashion designers.
On the macro front, there obviously is an immediate need to educate the Indian fashion industry about IPR protection. The Indian fashion industry is set to grow much faster than expected previously and is likely to touch Rs.7.5 billion by 2012 (Fashion Design Council of India stats). The Fashion Foundation of India (FF1) a newly constituted body consisting of leading designer from India seeks to protect IP rights against rampant copying. ‘referencing’ and ‘inspiration’. It actively research through its Research and Analysis Cell and commission studies to bring forth various aspects of the fashion industry. It will also set up a legal cell to assist the design houses in matters including IPR, licensing, contracts, and arbitration. Similarly some instances of unauthorized imitation may continue to occur in cases of personal consumption and use where individuals may have apparel and dresses created by the local tailor or seamstress as an imitation of a popular design for personal consumption. Notwithstanding the moral rights argument in favour of the author in respect of his creations.
The Third schedule to the Design Rules. 2001 provides an exhaustive list of products and articles in respect of which an application may be made to the Controller. Such a design right remains in force for a period of ten years. extendable subject to conditions. for a total period of 15 years. Noting India’s diversity in traditional knowledge and other indigenous art forms, the current regime also affords protection through the G1 Act. 1999. The Fourth schedule provides for a classification of goods protectable under the Act.