We're Ready To Review Your Legal Matter

We Work With Clients Locally And Globally

Supreme Court Finds Copyright Protection in Cheerleader Uniform

On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court reached a decision in the case of Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., in which the Court held that artistic designs incorporated into cheerleading uniforms are eligible for copyright protection. Prior to this decision, artistic elements of clothing items were typically not copyrightable under the "useful article" doctrine, because they were not considered sufficiently separable from the functional clothing items to which they were attached.

On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court reached a decision in the case of Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., in which the Court held that artistic designs incorporated into cheerleading uniforms are eligible for copyright protection. Prior to this decision, artistic elements of clothing items were typically not copyrightable under the "useful article" doctrine, because they were not considered sufficiently separable from the functional clothing items to which they were attached.

In Star Athletica, the Court clarified that an artistic element of a useful article is copyrightable if the element (1) could be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate from the useful article, and (2) would qualify as a protectable pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work if applied to some other tangible medium. The Court held that the artistic surface decorations on the cheerleading uniforms in this case satisfied both of those elements.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Questions?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response

10801 Mastin Boulevard
Suite 1000
Overland Park, KS 66210

Toll Free: 888-483-2697
Fax: 913-647-9057
Map & Directions