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Cheerleader Uniform Designs are Protected, the U.S. Supreme Court Rules

In a closely followed case having widespread impact on the apparel industry, Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion today holding that the Copyright Act protections extend to “combinations, positionings, and arrangements of elements” that include “chevrons . . . , lines, curves, stripes, angles, diagonals, inverted [chevrons], coloring, and shapes” that are affixed to cheerleader uniforms.  This ruling marks a significant victory for apparel copyright holders and will undoubtedly increase the amount of litigation already burdening the apparel industry.

Clients are advised to immediately confer with counsel as to the effect of the Star Athletica opinion to their specific business.

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This Alert is made available for educational purposes and to provide general information on current legal topics, not to provide specific legal advice. The publication of this Bulletin does not create any attorney client relationship, and this Bulletin should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.  

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