Andrew Baker is a JD candidate at McGill University, Faculty of Law.
Ashlee Froese, Osgoode Hall Law School alum of 2006 and IPilogue contributor, has launched CanadaFashionLaw.com, which has garnered immediate attention from both the fashion industry and the legal community, receiving over 500 unique hits in its first three days.
Canada Fashion Law covers the business and legal issues surrounding the fashion industry by not only exploring contemporary legal issues, but also by providing commentary on the existing policy framework of intellectual property within the fashion industry.
In her third post, Froese explains how Canada’s poor performance in the The Office of the United States Trade Representative’s 2011 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers presents obstacles for the Canadian fashion industry with regards to US willingness to trade. She goes on to explain that other countries, such as France and Italy, have specifically drafted domestic intellectual property laws for fashion design, which provide greater legal clarity. The US is also considering specific protections for the fashion industry as it reforms its copyright law.
Canada Fashion Law has also covered two interesting cases in Canada and the US, respectively. Froese has reviewed the recent Supreme Court of Canada trademark case, Masterpiece Inc v Alavida Lifestyles Inc. 2011 SCC 27, explaining that the decision demonstrates the usefulness of conducting trade-mark availability searches (the Masterpiece case was also reported on by co-counsel for Masterpiece in the IPilogue). The blog is also following a pending suit by Christian Louboutin against Yves Saint Laurent for allegedly copying its distinctive red-soled shoe design trade-marked in 2008.
Already, Canada Fashion Law has caught the attention of the legal community with NY State Attorney, Vincent Lotempio, recently interviewing Froese on his blog. The interview discusses fashion industry-specific policy solutions within the framework of trade-mark law thereby highlighting many of the unique and interesting problems arising at the intersection of fashion and law.