Capitol HIll is considering a bill that would place fashion designs in the same league as a work of art that can be copyrighted, protecting designers from cheap knockoffs for three years. Currently, designers can copyright logos and names, but manufacturers can legally replicate their creations stitch for stitch—and they do.
Under the bill, designers who copyrighted their work could sue for damages and press to have the fake goods destroyed. Looks "inspired by" name-brand fashions would still be legal. Fashion houses lose billions when quicky knockoffs hit the racks before the real thing. Case in point: millions of ersatz versions of Carolyn Bisette's wedding dress were sold before the designer, Narcisso Rodriguez, could get the original to the market. He sold 45.