Cheerleading Uniform Designs Can Be Copyrighted: 6th Circ.

Law360, New York (August 19, 2015, 6:49 PM EDT) -- A split Sixth Circuit panel weighed in Wednesday on the "confounding" issue of intellectual property protection for apparel, ruling that decorative designs used on cheerleading uniforms can be copyrighted.

Wednesday's opinion included some of Varsity Brands' copyrighted designs for cheerleading outfits. (Credit: Court documents) The panel ruled 2-1 that the stripes, chevrons and other graphic elements on uniforms sold by Varsity Brands Inc. — the world's largest producer of cheerleader gear — were eligible for copyright protection, reviving an infringement lawsuit over uniforms produced by rival Star Athletica LLC.

Clothing is the kind of functional, "useful item" that's ineligible for copyright...

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