Fashion Industry

News & Analysis as of

Chevrons, Stripes, Cheerleaders, and Copyright: The Supreme Court Issues Opinion in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands

The U.S. Supreme Court issued their opinion on Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands on Wednesday, March 22. Should fashion designers rejoice or be fearful? That depends. Designers who repeatedly have original fashion designs...more

Let’s Go, Big ©! Let’s Go! U.S. Supreme Court Backs Copyright Protection for Cheerleading Uniforms

In a decision that may have broader implications in the U.S. fashion industry, the U.S. Supreme Court in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. (No. 15-866) ruled that the decorative elements on a cheerleading uniform...more

Decision Cheered by Some, as Supreme Court Clarifies Useful Articles Copyright Protection

In a decision likely to affect the fashion and design industries, on March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court clarified the test for determining when a design feature incorporated into a "useful article" (such as...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

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’: Trade Dress and the Distinctive Look of a Boot Sole

Airwair, the owner of the Dr. Martens brand, recently launched a series of lawsuits in the Northern District of California to enforce the trade dress of its “iconic boots and shoes.” One lawsuit was filed in October against...more

Cheering on the Fashion Industry: U.S. Supreme Court Issues Landmark Copyright Decision That Will Have Deep Implications for...

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court decided that federal copyright protection applies to cheerleading-apparel designs. The decision, which has far-reaching implications for the fashion and sports industries, sets a new and...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

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

“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 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

Client Alert: Supreme Court Finds Cheerleading Uniforms Copyrightable in Landmark Apparel Copyright Case

In the first apparel copyright case ever considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., the high court found on March 22, 2017 that decorative elements of a cheerleading uniform could be...more

Give me…“Separability!” Supreme Court Holds Cheerleading Uniform Designs Copyrightable

The Supreme Court, in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., 580 U.S. ___ (2017), resolved “widespread disagreement” among the circuits, and adopted a single test to determine the copyrightability of designs...more

Three Stripes and You’re Out

On March 17, Adidas American, Inc. sued Juicy Couture, Inc., in the District of Oregon (3:17-cv-00437), alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution, deceptive trade practices, and breach of...more

Fashion Law Newsletter - March 2017

"Fashions fade, style is eternal." - Yves Saint Laurent - Welcome to our latest edition of Fashion Law where we provide you with the latest updates on legal issues affecting the fashion industry. In this issue we...more

Three Stripes and You’re Out: adidas Seeks to Protect its Mark

On March 17, 2017, athletic apparel giant, adidas, filed suit against Juicy Couture, Inc. asserting trademark infringement and unfair competition claims. The case is styled adidas America Inc. et al. v. Juicy Couture Inc.,...more

Supreme Court Defines Test for Copyright Eligibility of Useful Article Design Features

Yesterday, in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., the Supreme Court resolved an issue that previously had been the subject of “widespread disagreement” in the federal courts—the proper test for determining when a...more

To The Relief of Sergeants Everywhere, Forever 21 Challenges Adidas’ Three Stripe Marks

On March 3, Forever 21, Inc. sued Adidas American, Inc. in the Central District of California (2:17-cv-01752), asking for a declaration that its clothing decorated with stripes does not infringe Adidas’ trademarks, and...more

Influencer Marketing: Best Practices for Advertisers & Agencies

Influencer marketing saw explosive growth in 2016, with 86% of marketers having used the tactic, 94% of whom found it effective. In 2016, most marketers spent between $25,000 to $50,000 per influencer marketing program, which...more

Return to Sender: Aéropostale Employee’s Fraud Convictions Affirmed, But Restitution Order Sent Back for Recalculation

Aéropostale is known by many as a staple of adolescent wardrobes and shopping-mall standard. But as a patsy for kickback schemes? In United States v. Finazzo, 14-3213-cr, 14-3330-cr (Droney, J., joined by Judges Sack and...more

Blockchain Walks the Runway As The New FashTech Fashion Tool

The World Customs Organization and International Chamber of Commerce estimate that seven to eight percent of all world trade each year involves counterfeit goods, resulting in lost sales of $512 billion globally and $200-250...more

Made-in-the-U.S.A. Complaint Does Not Make the Cut

In a case decided in December that flew beneath our radar, a judge in the Southern District of California dismissed without prejudice a proposed class action alleging that Citizens for Humanity falsely labeled its jeans as...more

Adidas v. Puma: Another three-stripe lawsuit

We’ve written on several occasions about the aggressive policing by Adidas of its well-known “three-stripe” mark for shoes, including attempts to enforce its mark against other two-stripe or four-stripe designs (with some...more

Virtual legality: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality - legal issues

With Newsweek predicting that 2017 will be shaped by Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)1 Dentons, as part of its on-going TechTalk series, thought it was timely to examine the legal issues associated with this...more

2017 Brings Issuance of New Design Patents for the Fashion Industry

It is well known among patent attorneys that design patents are an under-utilized form of protection in the fashion and beauty industry... ..Design patents should always be considered for timeless and iconic pieces or...more

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