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Christine De Keersmaeker: "Intellectual Property is one of the major assets for companies today"

Christine De Keersmaeker, Partner at KOAN Law Firm and IP expert, contributed to the book ‘Mode en Recht’ (Intersentia), that focusses on the legal aspects of the fashion industry. De Keersmaeker focuses on the growing importance of strategies for intellectual property in the world of fashion.

Several studies have shown that companies with intellectual property are likely to perform better than their competitors, and even offer a more sustainable shareholder value. Companies that don’t effectively implement the use of intellectual property, will inevitably be confronted with increasing competition.

In the past five years, there has been a significant increase in intellectual property investments. Google, for example, has applied twice as many patents in 2015 than it had in the year before. And although the company is not directly involved in the fashion industry, Google’s investment trend when it comes to intellectual property is definitely relevant to the fashion sector. Google Glass and the collaboration between Google and Diane von Furstenberg are only two examples of what is possible when fashion and technology come together. The current Wearable Tech trend and the further digitization of our society and our markets, including fashion, prove that it’s a great match with huge potential.

Intellectual property should be a priority for every company, including those in the fashion sector. Every enterprise owns intellectual property, be it a brand and or a domain name. Fashion companies often deal with specific clothing models, patents or trade secrets. For them, it’s not just a one-time activity but an ongoing business, a permanent process aimed at profitability and sustainability.

Just take a look at the world’s most valuable fashion brands (source: 

Nike: $ 27.5 billion

Louis Vuitton: $ 27.3 billion

H&M: $ 15.9 billion

Gucci: $ 12 billion

Hermes: $ 11.7 billion

Zara: $ 10.7 billion

Cartier: $ 10.1 billion

Rolex: $ 8.8 billion

Coach: $ 7.5 billion

Chanel: $ 7.2 billion

Prada: $ 6.8 billion


What do these brands have in common? They are known all over the world, they started out small and last but not the leastthey all made considerable investments in intellectual property and have IP strategies.

The book ‘Mode & Recht’ (2018), by authors Robby Houben, Gert Straetmans, Esther van Zimmeren and Hendrik Vanhees is published by Intersentia. You can order it now via or find in major bookstores.

For more information, contact Christine De Keersmaeker of KOAN Law Firm at [email protected]


About KOAN

KOAN Law Firm is based in Brussels and Paris, operating for local and international clients. Services include Intellectual Property, Data Protection & Privacy, Corporate & Tax, Employment Law, Commercial Law, Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration, Public & Administrative Law, Real Estate, Criminal Law, European and Competition Law and Trade Practices.

 With their expertise in the field of Intellectual Property, KOAN offers a valuable service. The TMT & IP team has developed an in-depth understanding of all the related sectors: copyright and related rights, brand names, trademarks, geographical indications, patents, industrial designs and models, unfair market practices, trade secrets and know-how, domain names, processes, and personality rights. Read more KOAN’s IP-team here.