Category Archives: Copyright

Supreme Court Holds Cheerleader Uniform Designs Are Copyrightable

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held that decorative designs affixed to cheerleader uniforms may be entitled to copyright protection under the Copyright Act of 1976. The decision determined the proper approach to analyzing whether and how pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features can be identified separately from the utilitarian aspects of a useful article, potentially making such features eligible for copyright protection.

Varsity Brands, Inc., Varsity Spirit Corporation, and Varsity Spirit Fashions & Supplies, Inc. (together, “Varsity Brands”) design, manufacture, and sell cheerleading uniforms.  Varsity Brands holds numerous U.S. copyright registrations for uniform designs, including the following:  Continue reading

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Amended TTAB Rules

New rules for the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) go into effect on January 14, 2017, aiming to provide more efficiency and streamlining of inter partes (oppositions, cancellations, and concurrent use) and ex parte appeal proceedings.  The rules apply to all proceedings active on January 14 and those subsequently filed.

Some of the key rules changes are summarized below.  Continue reading

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Library of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights Qualifications

In October 2016, the new Librarian of Congress dismissed the then-current Register of Copyrights and named an interim Register. On Friday, the Library of Congress announced that it is seeking public input regarding the qualifications the public would like considered during the search for a new Register. Comments may be provided through January 31, 2017 via an online survey found here. The Library specified that it is seeking comments regarding the knowledge, skills, and abilities for fulfilling the Register position. This initiative comes shortly after a December 8, 2016 announcement by the House Judiciary Committee that it is considering a proposal to split the Copyright Office from the Library of Congress.

 

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