Do Australia 's Ip Laws Adequately Protect Fashion?

3576 Words Jan 14th, 2015 15 Pages
LAW3406 – Intellectual Property Law
Name: Hannah Redmond-Josan
Student ID: U1067123
Word Count: 3131
Question: Do Australia’s IP Laws adequately protect fashion?


There is no doubt that there are laws within Australia containing provisions that may be applicable to fashion products. What is less clear, however, is how feasible and effective those provisions are in protecting fashion products in practice. The fact that the question is posed is perhaps a greater reflection of the dynamic nature of ‘fashion’, which encompasses a broad range of concepts and contributors with varying intellectual property law (“IP law”) requirements. This essay will look at the ways in which existing Australian design, copyright and trade mark laws presently service fashion, how they compare on an international scale and whether they provide adequate protection within the fashion sphere.

Intellectual Property Law in Australia

In the late 19th century, Australian Parliament was granted powers under the Constitution to make laws for the “…peace, good order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to…copyright, patents of inventions and designs, and trademarks…” This, seemingly barren terminology, was subsequently endorsed a century later by the High Court of Australia in the case of Nintendo Co Ltd v Centronics Systems Pty Ltd, where it advocated an interpretation of the of the power as one which:

“…authorizes the making of laws which create, confer,…
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