Sunday, 22 June 2014

Dorothy Perkins has pinched a D&G print

Rose Print Bustier Dress by Dolce & Gabbana (Photo: Far Fetch)

Dolce & Gabbana came up with a stunning rose print that was available on skirts, dresses and blouses, and was snapped up by many fashionistas. Dorothy Perkins (DP) seems to be tapping in to the popularity of the print with their 'floral pleated bodycon dress' which features a suspiciously similar print. The print has been borrowed by countless other brands, but it was DP's use of it on a similar style dress that made it really stand out for me.

Floral Pleated Bodycon Dress by Dorothy Perkins (Photo: Dorothy Perkins)

As soon as I saw it I thought "Hey, that's D&G!" but quickly discovered that I was wrong. Although it is notoriously difficult for designers to protect the shape and style of garments, they do have some protection in the form of copyright. In the UK at least, original artistic works, which includes prints on fabric, are automatically protected for 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last remaining author of the work dies. This means that the work cannot be copied or adapted without the consent of the owner. 

So, is D&G's print likely to be covered by copyright protection? In my opinion, it is, particularly considering the size, colour, placement and artistic interpretation of the flowers, with the inclusion of rose buds, set on a black background. It remains to be seen if D&G will pursue this issue with Dorothy Perkins, and I'm sure DP are proud of their 'D&G-inspired dress', but all I can see here is blatant copyright infringement. I personally wouldn't cross D&G and their team of lawyers!


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