News & Analysis as of

The Copyright Act

Limiting Statutory Damages in Internet Copyright Cases

One of the most significant legal concerns for Internet service providers is the risk of exposure to liability for the copyright infringements of their users. The concern is not unreasonable. Because Internet service...more

Supreme Court Announces Broad Separability Test in Applying Copyright Law to Useful Articles

by Ward and Smith, P.A. on

This article continues the discussion in an earlier article addressing the scope of copyright protection as it applies to useful goods under copyright law. At the time the first article was written, Varsity Brands, Inc. v....more

Separating Art from Function: Supreme Court Creates Copyright Test for Designs

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In a landmark 6-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved "widespread disagreement" among lower courts and held that the artistic elements in a functional article ­– such as the cheerleading uniform at issue in this case –...more

“Charging Bull” Sculptor Articulates VARA Complaint, But “Fearless Girl” Still Standing Firm

by Sullivan & Worcester on

After a recent discussion about whether the new Fearless Girl sculpture by Kristen Visbal in Lower Manhattan might implicate the copyright of the earlier Charging Bull sculpture that has been there for nearly three decades,...more

First judicial consideration of information location tool under the Copyright Act– Trader Corporation v. CarGurus Inc.

by Dentons on

On April 6, 2017, the words "information location tool", as they appear in s. 41.27 of the Copyright Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-42 (the Act), were given their first judicial interpretation. S. 41.27(1) provides that a copyright...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Rules on Copyright Preemption of Right-of-Publicity Claims

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Last week, in Maloney v. T3 Media, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that claims under state right-of-publicity law are preempted by the Copyright Act “when a likeness has been captured in a...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - April 2017

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Supreme Court Restricts the Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Patent Law for Exported Goods - On February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court in a landmark decision held that the supply of a single component of a multicomponent...more

Cheerleader Uniform Designs Protectable Under Copyright Act

The Supreme Court recently held in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., that the designs on certain cheerleader uniforms may be protected copyrights. The 6-2 decision clarified the test to be applied when...more

What do Raging Bull and Adult Diapers Have in Common?

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Apparently, quite a bit according to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has dipped its toe into the waters of intellectual property law again and has decided to overturn 150 years or more of common law precedent in its...more

Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, Little Furry Plaintiff …

In Chase v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 1:15-cv-10063-NRB (March 27, 2017), Judge Buchwald of the Southern District of New York, granted Warner Bros. motion to dismiss a copyright infringement suit brought by the...more

A Game Played Proactively

Having read the recent Supreme Court decision of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands and the new unified test for copyright protectability in useful articles, we can now turn to the challenge of what actual changes will result...more

Supreme Court Establishes Test for Copyrightability of Two-Dimensional Designs Incorporated Into Useful Articles in Star Athletica...

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court established a test for determining whether a design that is incorporated into a useful article is entitled to copyright protection. In its much-awaited opinion in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v....more

Media Law Bulletin: “When I Say Design, You Say Copyright! Supreme Court Ruling in Cheerleader Uniform Case to Provide Extra...

by Sedgwick LLP on

Fashion designers around the nation are likely cheering after reading the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica LLC. That case involved whether the two-dimensional designs on...more

Star Athletica vs. Varsity Brands: Supreme Court Rules on Copyrightability of Apparel Design

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

The Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. could result in increased opportunity with respect to the applicability of copyright law as it relates to fashion and apparel,...more

Supreme Court endorses copyrightability for fashion and industrial designs

by Dentons on

On March 22, 2017, in a 6-2 decision, the US Supreme Court (the "Court") ruled in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. (Dkt. No. 15-866) that the designs on a cheerleader uniform can be protected by copyright. The...more

Supreme Court Broadens Copyright Eligibility For Design Elements, Including Artwork On Clothing

by Goodwin on

Summary - In Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., 580 U.S. ___ (2017), the Supreme Court clarified the test for whether artistic features of a useful article are separable and therefore copyright eligible. The...more

Supreme Court Corner: Q1 2017

by DLA Piper on

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands COPYRIGHT – DECIDED: MARCH 22, 2017 HELD: An artistic feature of the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection if the feature (1) can be perceived as a two- or...more

Some Copyright Clarity for the Apparel Industry - The Supreme Court provides a test for measuring when graphic features on...

Last week the Supreme Court articulated a test for the copyrightability of apparel designs. The test does not increase the protection available to the apparel industry, but it does provide clarity for determining when an...more

Podcast - Supreme Court Ruling: Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

What impact is the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, the cheerleader costume case, likely to have on the protectability of the creative elements of clothing and other useful articles? Doug...more

Sis-Boom-Bah: U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Cheerleader Uniform Design Elements May Be Eligible for Copyright Protection

by K&L Gates LLP on

In a decision that clarifies one controversial aspect of copyright and fashion law, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that certain design elements of cheerleader uniforms may be eligible for copyright protection. The...more

U.S. Supreme Court Says That Lines, Chevrons, and Colorful Shapes on Cheerleader Uniforms Are Copyrightable

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, issued their opinion on Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands. The Court affirmed the 6th Circuit, holding that the lines, chevrons, and colorful shapes of Varsity’s...more

Supreme Court Clarifies the Scope of Copyright Protection for Features of Useful Articles

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Star Athletica L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. clarifies that the original designs on useful articles, such as common household items and personal electronics, may be protected by...more

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands: Supreme Court Rules Apparel Design Copyrightable

by Lane Powell PC on

With regard to garments and fashion, the accepted wisdom historically has been that copyright does not protect garment designs. The Supreme Court just changed that in the case of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands. Or did...more

Canadian Copyright & Breach of Technological Protection Measures (TPMs): $12.7 million in Damages

by Field Law on

It’s always exciting when there’s a new decision about an obscure 5-year old subsection of the Copyright Act! Back in 2012, Canada changed its Copyright Act to try and drag it into the 21st century. Among the 2012 changes...more

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

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