Partner Luke DeMarte was quoted in the March 28, 2017 Business Insurance article “High court fashion statement could lead to more lawsuits.”
“Last week’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on copyrighting cheerleader uniforms could lead to increased litigation in the fashion industry, although it also provides needed guidance on the issue of copyright law, experts say.
The 6-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Star Athletica L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands Inc. centers on the question of whether a useful article’s design is eligible for copyright protection.
Memphis, Tennessee-based Varsity Brands, which designs and sells cheerleader uniforms, had filed suit against Chesterfield, Missouri-based Star Athletica, charging it had violated its copyrights on certain of the designs that appeared on its uniforms and other garments.
The U.S. District Court in Memphis ruled against Varsity, holding the designs serve a utilitarian function and could not be separated from the uniforms’ utilitarian function.”
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