Copyright protection can be the appropriate avenue of protection for certain aspects of apparel, but so far it has proven to be a problematic strategy for fashion designers.Copyright Protection Copyright protection for fashion design has been difficult to obtain and is very limited, mainly due to copyright rulings that clothing designs are utilitarian or functional. In Fashion Originators Guild v. FTC, 114 F.2d 80, 84 (2d Cir. 1940) (L.Hand, J.), aff'd, 312 U.S. 457, 61 S.Ct. 703, 85 L.Ed. 949 (1941), dresses were determined to be merely useful articles not protectable by the Copyright Act. In other words, clothing design is a useful article because its function is to cover or enclose the human body of the wearer.
47,070, 47,070−71 (July 31, 2012), available athttps://www.ftc.gov/policy/federal-register-notices/federalregister-notice-withdrawal-commission-policy-statement (Commissioner Olhausen dissented from that action as well.)3Fashion Originators’ Guild, Inc. v. FTC, 312 U.S. 457, 466 (1941).