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London Fashion Week – considerations for Designers and disclosure of their designs


21st Sep 2021

It’s once again that time of year where one of the biggest events in the Fashion Calendar is taking place – London Fashion Week (LFW). Last year, LFW introduced its first ever digital event to ensure fashion brands had the opportunity to showcase their new collections despite Covid-19. 

This year, LFW is a hybrid format with shows both online and in person – giving fashionistas all over the world (subject to covid restrictions) the opportunity to dress up and embrace the atmosphere of live events again. 

As discussed during last years’ LFW, post-Brexit, a new supplementary unregistered design right has been created that mirrors the Community unregistered design protection. This right ensures that Designers benefit from UK unregistered design protection, provided first disclosure of their design is in the UK.

If a Designer first discloses their design in the EU and not the UK, they can benefit from Community unregistered design protection but it is unlikely that they will be able to benefit from the new supplementary unregistered design right in the UK and vice versa. This is because their disclosure may destroy the novelty of the design – a key requirement for community and supplementary unregistered design rights to arise.

We considered the following in last years’ LFW article:

  • By fashion shows going digital and being live-streamed around the world in multiple different time zones, where will the designs be disclosed first and what does that mean for the protection will they get? 
  • Will designs be first disclosed in the country from which the event is being streamed? 
  • Or will they be simultaneously first disclosed in the UK and Europe (and everywhere else in the world) and does this lead to both UK and Community unregistered design protection arising automatically?

Further direction is still needed on this.

The hybrid model for LFW events surely complicates matters – is first disclosure classed as being in the UK as the event is held here and/or because some in-person attendees are physically seeing the designs on display here? Or is there simultaneous disclosure in the UK and in one more other countries where people are, or might be watching online?

What may be the impact of technical issues in broadcasting the live streams around the world?

We await more guidance from the UK courts on this.

Do get in touch with us if you have any queries with regard to the design protection available for your new designs.

This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.

Author
Hannah Burrows
Associate
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Would you like to know more? You can talk to Hannah Burrows who will be able to help. Call (0)20 7242 0901

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