Bloomberg Law
March 22, 2017, 8:16 PM

U.S. Supreme Court Backs Copyrights for Cheerleading Uniforms

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an apparel company’s copyrights on its cheerleading outfits in a ruling that bolsters legal protections for pictures and graphic designs (Star Athletica LLC v. Varsity Brands Inc., 2017 BL 89682, U.S., 15-866, decided 3/22/17).

The 6-2 ruling is a victory for Varsity Brands LLC, the world’s largest cheerleading-uniform company. It lets the company press ahead with claims that smaller rival Star Athletica LLC copied five proprietary designs.

The case tested the limits of copyright protection for clothing, furniture and other items that can have both functional and distinctive ornamental aspects.

Clothing designs themselves ...

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