Suitability of Alternative Dispute Resolution for the Fashion Industry - Focused on Arbitration for the Fashion Industry -

패션산업의 대체적 분쟁해결제도 적합성 - 패션산업의 중재 제도 도입을 중심으로 -

  • 이재경 (건국대 법학전문대학원)
  • Received : 2015.02.09
  • Accepted : 2015.02.28
  • Published : 2015.03.02


Intellectual property law is slowly fighting to keep pace with the rapid growth of the fashion industry. Copyright and patent law have proven only minimally effective in fashion, even in the US and other top fashion nations, forcing designers and fashion companies to rely on their trademarks to protect their work. Litigating trademark disputes in the fashion industry presents a host of problems as witnessed in a recent Christian Louboutin case, leading the parties to resort to Alternative Dispute Resolution(ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution(ODR). ADR methods, especially arbitration, are increasingly emerging as substitutes to litigation. Using these methods, the fashion industry (CFDA in the US case) should sincerely consider a self-regulating program in which its members, both fashion designers and corporations alike, can resolve disputes in a manner mutually beneficial to all parties in order to preserve the industry's growth, solidarity, and esteem In particular, for the US fashion industry, the ongoing Innovative Design Protection and Privacy Prevention Act(IDPPPA) anti-counterfeit legislation could have caused a chilling effect against innovation. New designers with no name and less resources who could normally flourish producing inspired-by designs may find themselves subject to copyright infringement legislation since the IDPPPA may expand the protection of established designers and brands with more resources. This fear and its implication could be solved by the fashion industry itself since fashion experts know best how to handle these fast-paced issues arising in the field. Therefore, stakeholders in the fashion industry should commit to protecting innovation within fashion on a long-term basis by establishing a panel handling an ADR process. This can mitigate the uncertainty created by the IDPPPA or any other legislation from elsewhere, which could result in a shying away from experimentation with inspired-by designs.