Intellectual property: Fashion industry and the protection of intellectual property rights
Fashion and IPR
The breach of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), especially in the increasingly digitalisation of the market, is a major challenge in the fashion industry. It has been estimated that the share of fake products in global trade amounts to 8%. IPR infringements are a serious threat to the EU economy and especially to fashion business where creativity is at the core of the production process. However, SMEs often lack the necessary knowledge and means to protect their rights.
Effective remedies and sanctions remain very rare despite the fact that the breach of IP rights of fashion or high-end goods is a common practice. IPR infringements are a threat to the high-end products in particular. In fact, their value in emerging markets decreases while the number of illegal copies available on those markets increases. The Commission is contemplating the adoption of new measures to efficiently tackle the issue at a European and international level.
More information on IPR activities of DG Enterprise and Industry.
- Directive on enforcement of intellectual property rights
- Regulation No 1383/200314 - OJ L 196 of 2.8.2003 concerning customs action against goods suspected of infringing certain intellectual property
- Forms for right-holder for submitting an application for action
- Counterfeit, piracy and other IPR violations
- IPR issues are part of trade dialogues with third countries
- Summary of EU legislation on IPR and related links
The internet is creating opportunities for the fashion industries. However, illegal activities often discourage fashion companies from taking full advantage of online sales. It is therefore important to ensure that fashion companies and consumers can have a relationship of trust and legal certainty when engaging in borderless e-commerce and online services. The Commission is working towards a digital single market and implements action plans against counterfeiting. Similarly, right holders and internet service providers already seek to reduce the offer of fake goods on the internet.
- Companies can find a catalogue of support measures in the online toolbox compiled by DG Enterprise and Industry
- The IPR China helpdesk provides free guides, E-Learning Modules , live webinars and expert advice how to protect IPR in China
- For information how to protect IPR by means of patents, trademarks and design in today's information society please check the website related to the Internal Market
- Rightholders can find the forms "RED ALERT" and "NEW TRENDS" to inform customs of counterfeit products at the website related to Taxation and Customs Union. This website includes as well statistics of seizures of counterfeit products at EU borders.