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(Thu09) Lululemon vs. Calvin Klein

Forget rounded corners, gestures, and Apple vs. Samsung. Here a serious IP issue: Can you patent yoga pants?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/09/12/161011355/can-you-patent-yoga-pants?ps=view&ec=mostpopular

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lawanda fields's profile photoRyan Fairchild's profile photoMegan James's profile photoJacqueline Lozano's profile photo
21 comments
 
I've tried all types of yoga pants.  The best by far are a pair I got ages ago at Old Navy - go figure.  
 
I have some their old from target I use at home or gym glasias
Don Rua
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We're supposed to wear pants?
 
I think in some cases, some things in fashion, should be patentable. When Vivienne Westwood makes a crazy pair of shoes that are 3/4 sculpture and only 1/4 shoe in the traditional sense, or someone invents a new, and very distinct way of manufacturing sports wear in a high tech way, Tthat should be able to be protected. However things like a teeshirt of a sundress are far too basic. I would be more concerned with how stringent the approval process is for obtaining one is, to be honest.
 
well the patent has to be inovative, useful, and most of all something that is not generally already known - so the yoga pants should not be patentable.. It might be somehow specifically enhanced and that enhancement can be patented though..
 
Patent clothing? I say no... But if it were say a space suit, then yes.... where to draw the line?
 
I believe it is possible to patent a clothing design or a fabric pattern, but it's generally not done in the fashion world because styles change so quickly and being a leader in design is often more important than having the only design of a certain look. 
 
They should be left alone because lets face it. It's the best thing to come to a college campus since the tank top. Ya I said it I'm not ashamed. Viva la YogaPants!
 
I'm no IP lawyer but this strikes me as a sign that the patent system might need some re-engineering.
 
if there is no prior art, yes you can.
 
Guy i see you wrote a book what is it all about.
 
Not impressed Lululemon. We buy for more reasons that just the way fabric is layered. We buy also based on color, fabric touch, stretch, staff service, etc, etc, & for me, what I know about brand supply chain Worker Rights support (or not), and environmental monitoring (or not). 
 
I liked these comments in the article: "Clothing makers copy designs from each other all the time, yet you almost never see lawsuits like this one. In fact, some experts have argued that the industry's historically loose approach to intellectual property has led to more innovation, not less.
As law school profs Kal Raustiala and Christopher Von Sprigman wrote a few years back:
Why, when other major content industries have obtained increasingly powerful IP protections for their products, does fashion design remain mostly unprotected - and economically successful? ...
We argue that the fashion industry counter-intuitively operates within a low-IP equilibrium in which copying does not deter innovation and may actually promote it. We call this the piracy paradox. ... copying functions as an important element of and perhaps even a necessary predicate to the industry's swift cycle of innovation."
 
c'mon Guy, you know you wish Chi Pants was still in biz :)
 
They both look pretty much the same except for the waistbands...wots the price difference? (i still can't go past my $10 leggings from kmart)... :)
 
+Bruce Lieberman yep, he's back. What he learned from the misfortunes of the last times: stop trying to make this big and cheap. Just get it made and sold. Hence the smaller batches and higher prices.
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