Both Siti Khadijah and Ariani hold their own impressive ground in the Muslim-fashion world in Malaysia. Recently, the court case that was brought by Siti Khadijah after claiming that Ariani has stolen the design of their telekung has been decided.
This article will discuss on whether clothing can be accepted for copyright referring to the case of Siti Khadijah Apparel Sdn Bhd v Ariani Textiles & Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd  7 MLJ 478.
The telekung in question, which are two pieces of clothing worn by Muslim females during prayers, was first sold by Siti Khadijah under the name ‘Telekung Siti Khadijah Klasik’. Soon after, Siti Khadijah claimed that Ariani has then produced a similar looking telekung under the name ‘Ariani x WOW Telekung Nur Aleesya’.
One of the issues being discussed is whether telekung can fall in the ambit of copyright protection. For this, the High Court decided that the telekung by Siti Khadijah satisfies all requirements for a copyright protection.
1. It is original
Ariani could not produce evidence to show that their designer has designed the telekung.
2. It has been reduced to material form
The telekung is in tangible form.
3. It belongs to one of the categories of protected works; and
The telekung falls under ‘artistic work’ under Section 3(a) of the Copyright Act
1987. It is considered as a graphic work.
4. It complies with the qualifications for copyright.
With this, it was decided that there was copyright infringement by Ariani.
Other issues were also touched in the decision of this case, which will be covered in our next articles.