Copyright

A Copyright is an exclusive legal right granted to the creator of an original work to license, copy, sell, distribute, or otherwise exploit the work for his or her own benefit.
News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Update: Endrew F. V. Douglas County School District (15-827), Star Athletica, L.L.C. V. Varsity Brands, Inc....

Greetings, Court Fans! This morning, the Court issued its decision in Moore v. Texas (15-797), an important death-penalty case holding that Texas's outdated standard for determining whether a death-row inmate is...more

Who’s Got the Spirit?! Supreme Court Decides Star Athletic, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc.; New Two-Part Test Seeks to Clear Up the...

On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas in Star Athletic, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., held that “a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is...more

Supreme Court Holds Cheerleader Uniform Designs Are Copyrightable

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held that decorative designs affixed to cheerleader uniforms may be entitled to copyright protection under the Copyright Act of 1976. The decision determined the proper approach to...more

Supreme Court Rules Cheerleading Uniform Designs Are Copyrightable

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. that design elements of cheerleading uniforms may be protected under the Copyright Act. The 6-2 decision, written by Justice Thomas,...more

Hogan Lovells academic all-stars debate hot tech topics

On 17 March Hogan Lovells hosted a live webinar where several of our Global TMT thought leaders interviewed a panel of academic experts from our Law and Technology Academic Advisory Council on the key legal and tech trends...more

Copyright protection available to surface ornamentation of cheerleader’s uniforms: Star Athletica v Varsity Brands

On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court in the case of Star Athletica LLC v Varsity Brands LLC affirmed a decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that copyright protection could exist in surface...more

Supreme Court Affirms That Designs Of Cheerleading Uniforms Are Copyrightable

As we previously blogged, the Sixth Circuit held in 2015, that the colors, stripes, chevrons, and similar graphic designs of the plaintiff’s cheerleading uniforms “are copyrightable pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works”...more

SCOTUS Agrees that Cheerleading Uniform Designs Are Eligible for Copyright Protection

In a 6-2 decision authored by Justice Thomas, the US Supreme Court has now provided guidance as to whether aesthetic designs, such as stripes, chevrons, zigzags and color blocks of a cheerleading uniform are eligible for...more

Supreme Court Decision Arms Clothing Designers with ‘Powerful Tool’

As a result of a recent Supreme Court decision, clothing designers are expected to have an easier time stopping others from copying their original designs. On Wednesday, March 22, the Supreme Court issued guidelines to...more

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, Inc. Copyright Case

Seyfarth Synopsis: On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in the Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, Inc. case, affirming and holding that “a feature incorporated into the design of a ...more

Supreme Court Finds Cheerleading Uniform Designs Copyrightable

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. that designs on cheerleading uniforms may be protectable under the Copyright Act. The Court's 6-2 decision, clarifying the...more

Varsity Brands Earns Hard-Fought Win in Supreme Court Ruling Designs on Cheerleading Uniforms Are Copyrightable

The United States Supreme Court, in the case Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., et al., Case No. 15-866, ruled in a 6-2 opinion that two-dimensional designs incorporated onto three-dimensional useful articles (here,...more

Two Bits, Four Bits, Six Bits, a Dollar, Cheer Uniforms are Copyrightable, Stand Up and Holler!

In Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., (2017), the Supreme Court affirmed the Sixth Circuit that the two dimensional designs appearing on the surface of Varsity’s cheerleader uniforms were copyrightable....more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Decorative Elements Can Be Copyrighted

On Wednesday, March 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6 to 2 decision, affirmed a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in favor of Varsity Brands, Inc., et al. (Varsity). The Supreme Court...more

Be Aggressive, B-E Aggressive – SCOTUS Encourages IP Plaintiffs

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided two much anticipated intellectual property cases. Supreme Court Rejects Laches in Patent Infringement Cases - The first, SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag et al. v. First Quality...more

SCOTUS Finds Cheerleader Designs Copyrightable

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court of the United States held on March 22, 2017 that the “pictorial, graphic or sculptural features” of the “design of a useful article” can be protected by copyright under...more

Supreme Court Decides Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc.

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., No. 15-866, holding that artistic designs on cheerleading uniforms were eligible for copyright...more

“Knock-Offs” Beware: SCOTUS Makes a Fashion-Forward Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court has settled the closely watched Varsity Brands Inc. et al. v. Star Athletica LLC copyright dispute, holding that cheerleading outfits contain distinct design elements that allow for copyright ownership....more

SCOTUS Determines That Decorations on Cheerleading Uniforms Are Conceptually Separable From Uniforms and Eligible For Copyright...

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a 6-2 ruling in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., et al., holding the decorative elements on Varsity Brands’ cheerleading uniforms were...more

Supreme Court Outlines New Test for Copyrightability of Useful Articles

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. significantly expands copyright protection for useful articles. On March 22, 2017, the US Supreme Court set out a new standard for copyrightability...more

U.S. Supreme Court Eliminates Laches Defense for Damages in Patent Suits

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, held in a 7-1 decision that the defense of laches is not available under the Patent Act to bar claims for damages. SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Copyright Protection for Artistic Features in Clothing

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held that a two- or three-dimensional work of art on a useful article, such as clothing, is protectable under copyright law if: (1) the work of art can be perceived as separate from the...more

Hip, Hip, Hooray for Copyrightable Decorative Elements

After months of standing on the sidelines of the most closely watched case impacting the fashion industry in recent years, legal practitioners and fashion designers now have a framework for protecting decorative elements of...more

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y for the Fashion Industry: SCOTUS Establishes Uniform Test for Protection of Artistic Works Applied to Apparel

The overall design (such as the shape and cut) of a garment, bag or shoe is not protectable under current U.S. Copyright law because such items are considered “useful articles.” However, Section 101 of the Copyright Act...more

Litigation Alert: Supreme Court Clarifies Copyright Eligibility for Useful Articles

While much of the legal press may be speculating about the future of the Supreme Court’s Chevron test, yesterday the Court considered a very different kind of “chevron”—a design on a cheerleader uniform. In Star Athletica LLC...more

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