The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) recently expressed disappointment over the re-introduction of the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, a well-intentioned piece of legislation that unfortunately does little to provide meaningful protections to intellectual property created by the U.S. fashion industry.

Stated April 30, 2009, “Today’s re-introduction of the Design Piracy Prohibition Act is a blow to the creativity that drives the fashion industry forward,” said AAFA president and CEO Kevin M. Burke.  “While well-intended, the inherent subjectivity found in the standards for ‘originality’ and ‘infringement’ create immense legal ambiguity that would make it impossible for the industry to know exactly what can and can’t be protected.

“In essence, this legislation will offer individuals with the ability to hold a three-year monopoly on any trend, which will certainly limit consumers’ choice in the stores and on the shelves,” Burke stated.  “AAFA will work tirelessly with U.S. apparel and footwear stakeholders to educate members of Congress on this bill’s pitfalls.”