The U.S. Copyright Office has announced that the Office will remove outdated draft copyright applications and obsolete templates from its electronic registration system, effective November 30, 2019.

Specifically, the U.S. Copyright Office will permanently remove any draft copyright application created on or before October 31, 2018. The changes will not affect draft applications created and saved on or after November 1, 2018.

Why does this matter to fashion designers and fashion tech entrepreneurs? 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. But first, designers must apply to register their works and wait for registrations (based on a 2019 Supreme Court decision) before pursuing copyright infringement claims in court.

Read more about the upcoming electronic registration system change here.

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