USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Gianna Alegria

First Advisor

Dr. Nicole Stowell

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Smith


University of South Florida at St. Petersburg



Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


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Fashion encompasses nearly every aspect of a person’s life from birth through death. Throughout history, fashion has evolved alongside mankind in a plethora of ways. Although many view the fashion industry as vain and materialistic, fashion has played many different roles throughout history. Fashion has been used as a status symbol of one’s wealth, as a source of protection during war, and a form of political protest, among other things. The fashion industry is a booming trillion dollar industry that is continuing to grow every year. Unfortunately, due to a lack of Intellectual Property Law rights and a standardization of these laws, fashion designers and their brands are subject to counterfeit goods and stolen designs. This thesis will analyze Intellectual Property Laws, specifically Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents related to fashion design. This thesis will also address how gaps in these laws, as well as general difficulties with obtaining intellectual property protections, creates a lack of innovation within the fashion industry. This thesis will also discuss that, due to this lack of protection, there is not just undue burden placed on the fashion designer, but an enormous negative impact to countries’ economies as well as consumers. This thesis will tie together the relatively new field of Fashion Law, with Intellectual Property Law, and show that the intersection of these two fields of law will only grow more closely together, meaning more and more issues of counterfeited goods will continue to become a growing problem, as the fashion industry continues to expand and evolve. If Intellectual Property Law protections do not quickly catch up with Fashion Law and the fashion industry, this will have an enormous negative effect on innovation within the industry and the economy.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program University of South Florida, St. Petersburg May 2, 2019.

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