Luxury IP’s dilemma

A new website called “BP Council” (a brand protection thing) asks, “Can Luxury Brands Counterfeiting Really Be Stopped“?

[I]n their report, “The Piracy Paradox,” legal scholars Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman, say that:

“Why, when other major content industries have obtained increasingly powerful IP protections for their products, does fashion design remain mostly unprotected–and economically successful? … We argue that the fashion industry counter-intuitively operates within a low-IP equilibrium in which copying does not deter innovation and may actually promote it. We call this the ‘piracy paradox.’ This paper offers a model explaining how … how copying functions as an important element of and perhaps even a necessary predicate to the industry’s swift cycle of innovation. In so doing…we also hope to spark further exploration of a fundamental question of IP policy: to what degree are IP rights necessary to induce innovation?”

The fact remains clear, though, that luxury goods powerhouse France has lost revenues, has lost jobs, due to counterfeiting and piracy. Perhaps taking these contrary assertions into consideration would result in a more effective and easy-to-implement anti-counterfeiting policy.

An interesting, step-back-from-the-front-lines, analysis.

Ron Coleman

LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION blog author Ron Coleman is a member of Dhillon Law Group in their New York City and Montclair, New Jersey offices. He is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and Princeton University.