ELZABURU has had the pleasure of working together with the publisher Thomson-Reuters Aranzadi on Fashion Law, a pioneering work in Spain on the subject of fashion law, which was presented on 16 April.

In these short weekly summaries, the professionals at ELZABURU who participated in the work offer us a brief outline of their contributions:

Patent protection in the fashion sector

Politics was transformed by the French Revolution in 1789. Fashion, on the other hand, has been transformed over the past 200 years as a result of many small revolutions. From changes in clothing to changes in household linen or technical fabrics. Each of these transformations has created new and valuable intangible assets. This chapter “fashion as a patentable invention” aims to show the clear impact of innovation on the field of fashion. There are many relevant examples of patents throughout history, and one wonders what our everyday lives would be like without inventions such as the zip, velcro or bras. Some of the most representative current examples showing that patents are a powerful tool in the world of fashion are Gore-tex®, Geox’s waterproof shoes, Procter & Gamble Company’s bleaching technology, or Grindi SRL’s Suberis fabric, among others.

Nowadays, thanks to increased awareness and concern for the environment, there is a greater focus in fashion innovation on creating new fabrics with less environmental impact. Examples of this change can be seen, for example, in new biodegradable filaments produced by bacteria or fungi or a Puma shoe prototype produced using leather made from pineapple.

The chapter touches on the trend of “smart clothing”, which has seen features added to products which go beyond the usual scope of use in an effort to achieve innovations that make users’ lives easier. From t-shirts that measure temperature and heart rate, Human Sensor clothing which changes colour to reflect the levels of air pollution in the surrounding environment, odour-resistant clothing, wrinkle-free and stain repellent clothing, sports clothing or bags with a built-in deodorant device, to Nike’s HyperAdapt trainers, which are able to adapt to fit the user’s feet and feature self-adjusting laces. The scene in “Back to the Future”, in which Doc offers Marty McFly some special shoes which automatically adjust to fit his feet, is already close to becoming a reality.

The conclusion drawn in this chapter is that we should regard patents as a powerful commercial tool given that a patent confers on its holder the right to prevent others from manufacturing, using, offering for sale, selling or importing its product or process. This exclusive right is a decisive factor in companies succeeding in such a dynamic and demanding environment as the fashion sector, enabling them to establish a solid position and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.


Author: Marina Reig 

Visit our website: http://www.elzaburu.es/en


Blog entries in the series Fashion Law:

1.Trademark protection in the fashion sector (23.04.2018)

2.Design protection in the fashion sector (30.04.2018)

3.Patent protection in the fashion sector (07.05.2018)

4.Protection of fashion through copyright (21.05.2018)

5. Image rights in the fashion sector (28.05.2018)

6.Fashion Law. Data Fashion (04.06.2018)

7.Counterfeiting in the fashion sector (11.06.2018)

8.Exhaustion of rights in the fashion sector (18.06.2018)

9.Corporate reputation in the fashion sector (25.06.2018)

10. Protection of the commercial imagen of a fashion brand (04.07.2018)

11. Websites, Apps & Social Networks (13.07.2018)

12. Valuation of intangible assets (17.07.2018)

13. Licensing (06.09.2018)