Where to from here? Fashion design law, technology & practice in Australia


Where to from here? Fashion design law, technology & practice in Australia

Melbourne Business School
Leicester Street


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Design rights have been described as ‘An Expensive, Confusing, and Ineffective Suit of Armor’ when it comes to the IP protection of emerging fashion designers in the digital age (Janssens & Lavanga, Fashion Theory, online 26 October 2018). Indeed, notwithstanding the plethora of IP rights marginally available to fashion design, according to OECD data for 2016 footwear and clothing top the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods worldwide (OECD, Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Good, 18 March, 2019). And the prospects of civil and criminal liability seem quite ineffective in the face of an entire fashion industry which is ‘built around the idea that trendy clothes should be available to consumers at accessible price points’ rather than rewarding and encouraging innovative design (Brucculieri, Huffington Post, 4 September 2018).

So where are the gaps in the Australian IP laws that may be called on to protect fashion design, what do these laws protect, how is technology changing current practices, and how might design rights perform better for a new generation of fashion designers in Australia specifically? A panel of experts from law, industry and IP Australia will consider these questions.


  •  Brett Massey
    Brett Massey, Senior Policy Officer
  •  Alana Kushnir
    Alana Kushnir, Lawyer and Curator, Director and Founder of Guest Work Agency
  •  Colin Golvan
    Colin Golvan, Barrister