A few years past, many of those who follow celebrity cases, or those who pay attention to any of the most popular aspects of copyright law, might remember the case only a few years ago in which there was a dispute being heard from the one and only Titanic actress, Kate Winslet – and how she chooses clothing that helps to flatter her figure. According to Ms. Biana Borukhovich, the best fashion lawyer New York has around here, the expert mentioned trying on black colors and vertical stripes in order to look the absolute slimmest possible. Now this court situation might be fairly confusing, however, its important to pay as much attention as possible we might be able to make learning easier and overall life better off. We will first begin by discussing the Chevron Deference, according to Ms. Borukhovich, while we have certainly confused you as much as we probably can, its time to learn more about the case.
To begin, let’s start with Kate Winslet and stripes. As a top fashion attorney, NYC lawyer Ms. Biana Borukhovich believes that the discussion about the slimming effects of design came up during arguments in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands. Star Athletica is a small company that makes cheerleader uniforms. Varsity Brands is the cheerleader behemoth, an “empire of pep” that brings in $300 million a year through outfits, cheer camps, and hundreds of copyrights on cheer uniform designs — copyrights, Star Athletica contends, Varsity uses to shut out the competition. Also, as per Ms. Borukhovich, the best fashion lawyer New York has to offer, Star Athletica argues that those designs shouldn’t be separable from the “useful article” of the uniform itself. And under copyright law, useful articles aren’t entitled to copyright protection.
Thus, the oral arguments moved quickly to the practical effects design elements can have. When you’re talking about these cheerleader uniform designs, the arrangement of the color blocks and the chevrons and the stripes, if you made it smaller and put it in the center of a uniform, it would no longer have the slimming effects. It wouldn’t make the wearer look taller. After this, the lawyer for the dress makers turned to Kate Winslet. Taking the example of Kate Winslet in a Stella McCartney dress from an amicus brief, Bursch, their lawyer again, noted that Winslet’s “got those slimming, dark lines along the sides that change how she is perceived. It makes her shape look different to someone who is looking at her, and the lines of these uniforms do the exact same thing.”
Those are “utilitarian aspects” of the design, Bursch argued, just like the “waist-narrowing V’s on the sides” of a cheerleading uniform. Under the Copyright Act, a feature or element of a “useful article” must be separable from the “utilitarian aspects” of the object. Circuit courts have split on which tests to use for separability analysis, with Sixth Circuit’s opinion below identifying nine different approaches — then rejecting them all for its own.
Killing Off the Fakes
One of the biggest aspects of such a case, according to Ms. Borukhovich, the best fashion attorney NYC has in practice, is that is Varisty’s design copyrights prevail, Justice Sotomayor noted, that could deal a major blow to the knockoff industry, whether it’s companies offering discount uniform designs, impostor fragrances, or Canal Street handbags. “You’re killing knockoffs with copyright,” Justice Sotomayor said. “You haven’t been able to do it with trademark law. You haven’t been able to do it with patent designs. We are now going to use copyright law to kill the knockoff industry.”
Not Just Stripes and V-Necks
As the top fashion lawyer New York has to offer, despite the arguments dealt with the uniform designs, the justices seemed more comfortable at analogizing fashion to modern art. Inf act, it was quite the scene when Justice Alito wondered whether the “great many famous abstract paintings” at the Museum of Modern Art could be copyrighted. Justices Kennedy and Ginsburg both brought up Piet Mondrian’s grid-based paintings. Justice Kennedy wanted to know “what’s the difference between Mondrian or Picasso and these lines” in uniforms. (The lines must be at a specific point on the body to be useful, Bursch explained. Mondrian’s designs could be slapped anywhere on a t-shirt.)Later, the assistant to the solicitor general, supporting Varsity Brands, said that the dispute boiled down to question of whether the utilitarian aspect of a uniform was “conveying information that someone is a cheerleader” or “affecting the viewer’s perception of the wearer’s appearance.” Now the fact of the matter is that such issues making it to supreme court, and up for discussion amongst the highest of holy legal chambers, makes it quite the spectacle. For more information on all there is to know about such fashion issues, be sure to contact the Best Fashion Attorney NYC has to offer, Ms. Biana Borukhovich.