News & Analysis as of

Useful Article

Christmas Comes Early for “Useful Article” Copyright Holder

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Order Denying Motion and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, Jetmax Ltd. v. Big Lots, Inc. et al., 15-cv-9597 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2017) (Judge Katherine Forrest) Tricky questions can arise when a person or company attempts...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

Intellectual Property and Technology News (North America), Issue 33, Q1 2017

by DLA Piper on

A new year is upon us, bringing swift and deliberate change, uncertainty and myriad paradigm shifts in the political and social landscape. It is fitting, then, that intellectual property practice should reflect these shifts...more

“Gimme a C!” (for Copyright): Supreme Court to Weigh Cheerleader Apparel Copyright Case

Are cheerleading outfits functional “useful items” that normally are ineligible for copyright protection? Or do they contain distinct design elements that allow for copyright ownership? ...more

Lawsuit Involving IP Protection for a Lamp

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

Last week a federal lawsuit was filed in Minnesota by Blu Dot to protect alleged intellectual property rights in the floor lamp shown on the left below. The accused “strikingly and confusingly similar” floor lamp shown on the...more

Applying Copyright Law to Useful Articles

by Ward and Smith, P.A. on

United States copyright law protects original, creative expression fixed in a tangible medium, such as sculptures, paintings, and musical recordings. But, subject to limited exceptions, copyright protection often does not...more

Comic-Con, Costumes, and Copyright Concerns

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Get ready, nerds! This summer’s Comic-Con season is almost upon us and your costume is not going to make itself. But before you squeeze into your tights and cape, do you need to worry about copyright infringement? This blog...more

"Ready? Okay!": Clothing Design Copyright Affirmed by Sixth Circuit Despite Dissent Stating Industry is "a Mess"

by Polsinelli on

Recently, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ("Sixth Circuit") in Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, LLC, decided that clothing designs (in this case, a cheerleading uniform) can be protected by copyright under the...more

District Court Struggles With Copyright Protection For “Cheerleading-Uniformness”

Once a piece of clothing has been styled, cut and shaped according to a designer’s vision, it is a form of expression arguably no less worthy of copyright protection than say, a photograph, painting, or poem. However, the...more

Happy Birthday…You’re Being Sued!

Have you ever noticed how people rarely sing “Happy Birthday to You” in movies and television? Instead, people usually sing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” even though no one actually sings that song in real life. ...more

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