Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands

The Copyright Act provides protection to the artistic features of useful articles, provided the features can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the articles on which they appear. For years, courts had struggled to provide a workable approach to “separability, and the federal courts of appeals had divided over the proper test, leading the Supreme Court to grant certiorari. Goodwin was hired to represent our client Varsity Brands, Inc., at the Supreme Court stage of this case. We persuaded the Court to rule in our client’s favor, and to hold that the graphic designs Varsity had registered are separable from the cheerleading uniforms on which they appear. The Court adopted our approach to the separability inquiry, which was more favorable to copyright holders than the approach advocated by the Copyright Office.

 

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands Respondents’ Merits Briefs

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands Respondents’ Brief in Opposition

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