News & Analysis as of

Separability

An Uphill Battle Protecting Fashion Designs In Nigeria and Abroad

Growing frustration in the fashion community regarding weak or non-existent intellectual property laws has finally caught the attention of some nations. Nigeria is one nation that currently is trying to alleviate this...more

Practice Tips for Copyright Owners in the Wake of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands

After considering almost a year’s worth of substantive briefing (including fifteen separate amicus briefs), oral argument, at least ten distinct tests employed in courts throughout the country, as well as numerous novel tests...more

Another Key Decision on Corporate Separateness – High Court Finds That There is No Arguable Case for Unilever to be Held Liable...

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

In a recent decision, the High Court has ruled that Unilever plc (Unilever), the ultimate holding company of the Unilever Group, does not owe a duty of care to protect the employees and residents of a tea plantation owned and...more

You’ve Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

The US Supreme Court’s ruling in Star Athletica v Varsity Brands provides a path to copyrightability for pictorial or graphical elements of clothing designs and useful articles. Laura Ganoza and Julie McGinnis of Foley &...more

Give Me an E: Cheerleading Uniform Designs Eligible for Copyright Protection

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In a 6–2 decision authored by Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court of the United States provided guidance as to whether aesthetic designs of a cheerleading uniform, such as stripes, chevrons, zigzags and color blocks, are...more

Reform of Qatar's arbitration framework

by White & Case LLP on

Qatar's long-awaited Civil and Commercial Arbitration Law, Law No. 2 of 2017 (the "New Arbitration Law") has recently come into force. It applies to all Qatar-seated arbitrations. The New Arbitration Law aims to align the...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

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

Puma Treads New Territory Hitting Forever 21 with Copyright Allegations after the Supreme Court’s Star Athletica Decision

by Knobbe Martens on

On March 31, 2017, Forever 21 was sued by Puma over its “Fenty” line of shoes. The “Fenty” label has become popular, in part, due to the influence of music artist, Rihanna as the label’s brand ambassador. In its complaint,...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

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

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

by Knobbe Martens on

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

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

by Knobbe Martens on

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

by Jones Day on

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

Break Out the Pom-Poms

We’re all familiar with the sight. Your team is down in the final minutes of the game but within striking distance. The coach calls a timeout, huddling up the team. The fans are silent. Out runs the cheerleading squad...more

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