54 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2018 various independent designers, has proven to be the giant that Brooklyn, New York- based Wwake must battle. Designer Wing Yau says that of all the copying she has experienced, the retailer in question (which she declined to name on record), “has the most egregious cop- ies, similar to our designs in scale, style and stone usage,” but these costume versions sell for a small fraction of what her precious metal originals do. “The scale is exactly the same but the materials have zero integrity,” Yau elab- orates. “It’s really interesting because (the store) offers our exact design for less: a lesser price and lesser quality and in a category that is not long-lasting. It’s jewelry that you throw away once you tarnish it or bend it.” Earlier this year, another big chain found itself at the center of controversy. Nordstrom began selling a line of costume jewelry—the result of a collaboration between home décor and costume jewelry company Lulu DK and We Wore What blogger Danielle Bernstein—that contained several pieces that were similar to a gaggle of independent designers like Bondeye Jewelry, Foundrae, Marlo Laz and Retrouvai. Consumers quickly noted the disconcerting design overlap and Instagram fashion watchdog Diet Prada shared the story with its 600,000+ followers. The social outrage, which resulted in main- stream media coverage due to Bernstein’s status as one of the world’s most successful bloggers, had its intended effect—Nordstrom pulled the offending styles. Pinterest is another social media arena that presents specific challenges. As Azlee has increased its focus on the custom bridal aspect of the brand, Zwart has learned that copying in the bridal arena hap- pens with relative impunity. “People make an engage- ment ring mood board on Pinterest and then find a local jeweler to execute one of the designs. I’ve had so many individuals reach out to inquire about a ring and then go have it made some- where else. With clothing or handbags consumers don’t have the same access to the supply chain as they do with jewelry. Peo- ple don’t even think twice about it, to bring a photo to a jeweler and have some- thing copied, and the jeweler doesn’t think twice about it either. It’s totally lost on the consumer that that might be a breach of design ethics.” WHAT DESIGNERS CAN DO The U.S. Constitution provides the foundation for laws that protect designers’ work. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, commonly referred to as the intellectual property clause, charges Con- gress with the responsibility to “promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” “It’s from that provision that we get all the laws in the U.S. about intellectual property,” says Jewelers Vigilance Committee Senior Counsel Sara Yood. “Intellectual property law is a way to protect the output of your brain.” There are three primary aspects of intellectual property: copyrights, trademarks and patents. “Basically, the simple way to describe a copyright is it protects the expression of an idea, not the idea itself,” says Mary Kate Brennan, an intellectual property at- torney with Epstein Drangel LLP. “Agood example is if someone were to create earrings and they had evil eyes on them you might be able to register for copyright protection of that particular design, the partic- ular way it looks and appears. However, you would not be able to prevent somebody else or many people from creating earrings that also include an evil eye design.Your particular ex- pression of that idea would receive copyright protection.” Trademarks, meanwhile, protect brand names and logos, while patents are THE STATE OF THE MAJORS THE DIAMOND INDUSTRY JEWELRY DESIGN THE COLORED STONE MARKET 14-karat gold rings with opals, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds by Wwake. Designer Wing Yau has dealt with the frustration of seeking copyright for her designs. She explains, “Even though my sense of proportion and the orientation of my stone setting is very specific to the way I work, those aren’t things that are easy to put on paper in the copyright office.” Continued on page 56 Copyright, NOUN An intellectual property right that is granted by the U.S. government to the creator of the original work that provides exclusive rights to the use and distribution for a limited period of time Patent, NOUN Protection granted to inventors to exclusively make, use or offer for sale their inventions throughout the United States for a limited time Trademark, NOUN Any word, symbol or device—this can include sound, color (think Tiffany & Co.) and smell—that is capable of identifying a product and distinguishing it from similar products