The U.S. Copyright Office recently published a final rule encouraging the use of email when certain parties must notify the Copyright Office when they have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit. This applies where copyright claimants—including fashion designers, filmmakers and other creators— were denied registration for a specific work.

Why does this matter to fashion designers ? While there is currently no U.S. copyright law specifically for fashion designs, there are limited copyright protections for works of fashion. The U.S. Supreme Court addressed the issue of fashion and copyright in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., stating that two- or three- dimensional graphic designs on a useful article are eligible for copyright protection if it “would qualify as a protected pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work”— separate from the useful article.

The final rule is effective May 26, 2020. Read more about the Copyright Office’s rule on litigation notices here.

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