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Henry Holland cautions young designers of IP theft risks

By Vivian Hendriksz


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As the streets of London fill up with visitors keen to the top fashion labels taking over city's catwalk during London Fashion Week, seasoned designer Henry Holland warns young emerging designers to be aware of the increasing dangers intellectual property (IP) theft poses for those in the international spotlight.

The designer behind House of Holland has teamed up with law firm Mishcon de Reya to create a short film which cautions designers watch over their IP as counterfeiting continues to spread. With London Fashion Week kicking off Friday morning, Holland notes that this is an "important" time to turn attention to the issue. "The threat of Intellectual Property theft in China is a very important issue for all London designers," states Holland.

"We’re considered the most creative Fashion Week around the world and the problem that you have as a small designer and a small company is that the big companies and the counterfeiters are able to manufacture and distribute your product before you're able to do that yourself. It might get to a point that there's copies of your catwalk pieces in stores around the world before you've actually managed to deliver yourself."

House of Holland is also affected by IP theft, particularly from China, where the eponymous fashion line eyewear range is being copied by counterfeiters and then presented as genuine products on social media channels, selling copycat frames for less than half the price of the original frames. Sally Britton, IP lawyer at Mishcon de Reya, believes that the one of the biggest threat comes from China as the development of the world wide web continues "to blur lines between rights and wrongs of infringement."

Britton advises young designers to create a separate brand identity to protect themselves against infringing their names and to file their trade mark as broadly as possible, including in local languages. "Designers need to be taught about legislation and protection early on so they are fully aware of key commercial imperatives and risks they may face."

House of Holland
Intellectual Property
London Fashion Week
Mishcon de Reya