Paradoxes and Paradigms: A closer look at the role of intellectual property in the fashion industry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Fashion offers a rich platform from which to reflect on key narratives over debates concerning the function of intellectual properties role in the creative industry. This is because it sits in what has been termed ‘IP’s negative space.’ That is areas of the creative industries that are said to function with limited or low levels of IP protection, but that still display high levels of innovation and creativity. Theories of IP’s negative space, suggest that intellectual property law may, in fact, play a very insignificant role in the field of fashion. This paper interrogates the IP’s negative space argument, it does so through empirical research conducted with designers as part of my PhD thesis that focuses on the role of IP in the everyday context of fashion practice. Thus, the purpose of the research is to offer a better understanding of how intellectual property law (e.g. copyright, trademark, and design rights) influences creativity, cultural production and business/commercial practices especially among independent and emerging designer brands in the creative economy. So far, this is an area in which there has been much theoretical debate, but relatively limited empirical research or investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication 17th Annual Intellectual Property Scholars Conference at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Aug 2017

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