Fashion and innovation

Potter Clarkson specialises in protecting and commercialising creativity and innovations in the fashion industry.

Fashion combines art, design, branding, and technology in a way that no other sector can.

Given the level of competition and the increasingly fast pace at which the fashion industry moves, fashion brands are often left vulnerable because of cracks in their intellectual property protection. Having worked with fashion and textiles for decades, our trade mark attorneys, IP solicitors, and patent attorneys know how to protect and enforce the full spectrum of IP rights that exist in your brands and products.

IP permeates through every link of the fashion supply and production chain, from design to production to retail to recycling.

In fact, the whole spectrum of IP rights can be encompassed in one fashion garment: 

  • Trade marks protect brands and other identifiers such as images and shapes 
  • Copyright protects design drawings and the artistic elements of products, among other things 
  • Given the cyclical nature of fashion, short-term unregistered design rights can be extremely cost-effective in protecting the shape and configuration of the garment 
  • For classic fashion designs that are timeless in nature, fashion brands may look to long-lasting registered design rights to protect the design aesthetic 
  • Patents protect the technology behind unique production machinery and the science behind high-performance fabrics or wearable tech.
  • Trade secrets can protect any fashion business’ information that is secret, has value, and is subject to reasonable protection methods, which must be kept secret and out of the public domain.


Our multi-disciplinary team of solicitors, patent attorneys, and trade mark attorneys are thought leaders in the fashion space, and regularly produce articles on fashion-related topics. From wearable tech and the metaverse to sustainability and protecting your fashion brand, we set out below some of our thought leadership highlights which may be of interest.