Gimme a "C" for Copyright! High Court Says Decorative Elements of Cheerleading Uniforms Copyrightable
On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court in Star Athletica LLC v. Varsity Brands Inc. announced a new test for determining whether the design elements of a useful article were separable from the article itself for purposes of determining copyright eligibility. Applying the new test to the designs embedded in the cheerleading uniforms at issue, the Court found the designs separable and thus eligible for copyright protection. A strong dissent, however, came to a different result.
The Court’s ruling was intended to streamline the panoply of tests currently used to determine separability, but questions remain as to how the new test will be implemented by the lower courts, and whether the ruling provides clear guidance for the courts and the apparel industry.
Foley has been closely following this case and is committed to providing you the most up-to-date intelligence. We invite you to attend our webinar, “Gimme a "C" for Copyright! High Court Says Decorative Elements of Cheerleading Uniforms Copyrightable,” in which we will review the Court’s ruling and discuss the future implications it may have for the fashion and apparel industry. T