Heidi Härkönen’s half-way doctoral defence: “Copyright and Fashion. From a low-copyright equilibrium towards unity of arts”

12.11.2019 10:00–12:00
Luentosali 16 / Lecture Hall 16
Yliopistonkatu 8

Warmly welcome to Heidi Härkönen’s half-way doctoral defence, on Tuesday 12 November 2019 at 10–12 am, University of Lapland lecture room 16.

Heidi Härkönen (LL.M, trained at the bench) is a Doctoral candidate in IP law at ULap/Faculty of Law. She focuses on the intersection of copyright and fashion design. She graduated as Master of Laws in 2013, passed the bar exam in 2016 and completed bench training in 2018. In her PhD research she is delving into the balance between innovation and imitation in the world of fashion from a copyright perspective. The research participates in the freshly-boomed academic discussion related to exclusive rights to fashion designs. In order to find the most suitable solutions to the problems this collision creates, the research places itself between legal sciences and fashion studies.

Title of the thesis: “Copyright and Fashion. From a low-copyright equilibrium towards unity of arts”

Abstract: Fashion is an industry that works in an interesting manner from the intellectual property perspective. It is based on originality, but also similarity, and references to other designers. But can one acquire an exclusive right to a certain style? Should one be able to? And if one does, what are the consequences of it? The research is organized around the central theme of fashion designs qualifying as works of art in the copyright sense, and what kind of effects does the level of copyright protection have in the industry on a larger scale.

Supervisors: Prof. Juha Karhu, University of Lapland & Prof. Annamari Vänskä, Aalto University

Opponent: Prof. Sharon Sandeen, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Sharon K. Sandeen is the Robins Kaplan LLP Distinguished Professor in Intellectual Property Law and Director of the IP Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is also the Fulbright-Hanken Distinguished Chair in Business and Economics for 2019-2020. A recognized expert on trade secret law, Professor Sandeen wrote (with E. Rowe) the first (and still only) casebook on the subject in the United States (Cases and Materials in Trade Secret Law) and Trade Secret Law in a Nutshell. In addition to her books, Professor Sandeen has written more than 30 articles and book chapters on intellectual property, internet, and information law topics, including detailed examinations of the drafting histories the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Article 39 of the TRIPS Agreement, and the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. Recently, she completed (with D.S. Levine) a new textbook titled “Information Law, Governance, and Cybersecurity.” A native of northern California, Professor Sandeen earned two degrees from the University of California Berkeley: a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and an LL.M. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Professor Sandeen is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the American Law Institute (ALI), and a member of the Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP). More about her:


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