I spy a high-level loophole for the architects of luxury clothing lines. Check out this MSNBC video depicting the newest way designers can deck out their customers.
Who needs the proposed Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act when you can avail yourself of U.S. patent protection?
Spanish designer, Manel Torres teamed up with scientists at Imperial College London to create spray-on fabric made of short fibers and polymers that, when mixed with solvent, can be sprayed directly onto the body with an aerosol can or a high pressured spray gun. Wool, linen or acrylic fiber can also be added to the mixture to create different textures in the finished product. Once it dries, the “garment” can be removed and washed in the laundry like all other clothes. Don’t like your first application? That’s ok… just dissolve your fashion faux pas in the solvent and start over! (Read the article in The Guardian)
Under 35 U.S.C. § 101, “Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.”
I would venture to say that this scientific breakthrough-cum-fashion innovation would certainly qualify as a “new and useful process” and therefore likely be patentable under U.S. law. The invention may also qualify for patent protection in other nations under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property or the Patent Cooperation Treaty .
BUT – I hope Torres and his team have already filed in the U.S. because publication of an invention before its filing date will bar a patent from being granted.
Lookout Ladies – This surprising spray-on style might stick to your silhouette and the stores more snugly than last season’s skin-tight jeggings!