By  on August 12, 2008

U.S. designers received a different kind of legal aid when the American Bar Association’s intellectual property law group backed stronger federal copyright legislation for fashion designs.

The unit gathered during the ABA’s annual meeting in New York, which ends today, to discuss competing resolutions on the issue and endorsed the Design Piracy Prohibition Act or similar legislation.

The adopted resolution reads, in part: “Believing that there is sufficient need for greater intellectual property protection than is now available for fashion designs, [the group] supports, in principle, enactment of federal legislation to provide a new limited copyright-like protection for such designs….”

A resolution that opposed such legislation was sent back to committee.

“It’s great to have the support of a prominent legal organization,” said Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. “It’s one of the many things that will help pass this legislation next year.”

Kolb said the CFDA would be working harder and faster to get legislation passed after the presidential election in November.

The Design Piracy Prohibition Act, introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) in 2006, would amend federal copyright law to allow designers to register their works for three years’ protection. Opponents of the bill have argued that it could inhibit creativity and fuel petty litigation.

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