IP Crime on Prime Time: Counterfeit Fashion Infiltrates The Mysteries of Laura

IP Infringement Makes An Appearance on Prime Time

Airborne entertainment has never been very educational. But, I recently had a curious experience when intellectual property investigations and my in-flight entertainment options collided on the way to visit our team in the Seattle office. The program was NBC’s dramedy The Mysteries of Laura starring Debra Messing. Revenge, murder, fashion and counterfeit handbags… this episode, “The Mystery of the Red Runway” has it all.

The story begins when a young man named Tyler is found murdered while out for a stroll. The yappy lap dog he is walking leads detectives to learn that he is an intern at a major luxury brand – the fashion house of designer Tom Burke. Detective Laura soon discovers that Mr. Burke knows more about the disappearance of his assistant than he is letting on. But could he be involved in murder?

The investigation reveals that the young intern had been studying up on Intellectual Property and creating some ready-to-wear designs of his own. The Burke brand has been battling counterfeits almost as soon as the models step off the runway. Mr. Burke tells investigators that the Canal Street vendors are an ever growing problem.

But, Laura puts all the couture pieces together at the Fashion Week gala. While she is undercover schmoozing, a fashionista points out to her that the $12,000 Tom Burke clutch she is carrying, which was a gift from the designer himself, is a fake. The poor stitching was a dead giveaway. It turns out Burke had been stealing his intern Tyler’s trademark designs for his own line and creating knock-offs to make some extra cash. When faced with the evidence, Mr. Burke admits to it all. Talk about a page 6 brand protection scandal!

So it seems even fictitious brands face complex intellectual property issues on a daily basis. However, I am sure the fashion houses of prime time deal with more murder trials than those in reality.

By: Jordan Chatham, Marketing Coordinator at Marksmen

The Intellectual Property experts at Marksmen provide discreet, confidential and relentless trademark, domain and patent investigations, acquisitions, sales and domain name management services for a variety of clients, including those in the fashion industry. Learn more.