Fashion retailers must register their designs to protect themselves from risks brought on by the increase in global trading.
Speaking at the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry conference on Tuesday, Michael Morse, partner at solicitors Fox Hayes, said the latest risks were the opening up of Europe on May 1 and the lifting of Chinese textile quotas at the beginning of next year.
Both events should facilitate trade between textile manufacturers and retailers, leading to an influx of cheaper product.
However, the opportunity to source cheaply may also bring an increased risk of design theft.
'Registering designs is cheap and easy,' Morse said.