Copyright Infringement Attorney is Trial Counsel

Copyright Infringement Attorney is Trial Counsel on Copyright Law Definition Case to Revise U.S. Copyright Law

Copyright infringement attorney, Ted Anderson of Kilgore & Kilgore, is trial counsel for a copyright infringement case which will be heard before in the U.S. Supreme Court. This copyright infringement case, Varsity Brands v. Star Athletica, began in 2012 when Varsity Brands sued Star Athletica for copyright infringement. Star Athletica tried to enter the cheerleading uniform marketplace, which Varsity Brands dominates. The U.S. Supreme Court is to decide if any elements of a garment are eligible for copyright protection. If you have a copyright infringement situation that you wish to bring or defend, click here for a free consultation on how best to protect yourself or your intellectual property Contact Kilgore & Kilgore.

The Conceptually Separable Element of a Garment is the Focus of the First Argument

This copyright infringement case involves a complicated area of U.S. copyright law. The key issue in the case of Varsity Brands v. Star Athletica is the definition of the appropriate test to determine whether a component of a garment design is eligible for copyright protection. In its decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit created and applied its own unique test. The Sixth Circuit court decided that Varsity could copyright components of its cheerleader uniform designs. If this decision stands, Varsity can legally block Star Athletica and everyone else from using anything similar to Varsity’s design combinations of stripes, zig zags and chevrons.

The Useful Article Definition

U.S. copyright law does not generally protect articles of clothing or other items such as chairs, automobiles, etc., called useful articles, because they are everyday items not subject to copyright protection.

Despite repeated requests from the fashion industry over many decades, Congress has not provided copyright protection to useful articles. Under the Copyright Act of 1976, certain elements of clothing design that are considered physically or conceptually separable from the garment may be eligible for copyright protection. An example might be when the image of an original portrait of your children is printed on a T-shirt. That image is considered separable from the T-shirt and copyrightable.

Most copyright cases are not so straightforward and are difficult for courts to decide. The issue is how to determine which element of a garment considered a useful article can be defined as separable under copyright law. This confusion has created a split among the federal circuit courts. It has also caused uncertainty in the fashion industry. Hopefully, the U.S. Supreme Court will now resolve this split.

Copyright Infringement Lawsuits May be on the Rise as U. S. Copyright Law Becomes Better Defined

The outcome of this Supreme Court decision will have an enormous impact on the fashion industry. Designers, manufacturers, merchandise distributors, and retailers will be affected. If the court adopts the Sixth Circuit test, the door is opened to a wider range of garment components considered eligible for copyright protection. This could become a catalyst for a wave of copyright infringement lawsuits. Consumers could face higher prices.

The Supreme Court justices will most likely create their own test for determining whether a garment component is eligible for copyright protection. This case will help define U.S. copyright law.

Copyright Infringement Attorney at Your Service

An experienced copyright lawyer can help you evaluate your situation from a legal perspective. Kilgore & Kilgore practices intellectual property law including copyright infringement and theft of trade secrets. Click this link to read more Copyright Lawyer. Send an email to for a free review of the facts of your case.

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