Justices to hear copyright fight over cheerleaders’ uniforms

Cheerleaders stop by an NBC4 Football Friday Nite rally at Central Crossing during the final regular season game of the 2015 high school football season.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court is taking on a copyright dispute between two manufacturers of cheerleading uniforms.

The justices on Monday agreed to hear Star Athletica’s appeal of a lower court ruling in favor of industry leader Varsity Brands.

The issue for the Supreme Court is whether the design of cheerleading uniforms, including their stripes and chevrons, can be protected under copyright law.

Varsity sued when Star Athletica published its first catalog of uniforms in 2010. Varsity said its competitor’s uniform designs infringed on Varsity’s copyrights.

A trial court ruled for Star Athletica, but the federal appeals court in Cincinnati sided with Varsity.

The case, Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, 15-866, will be argued in the fall.

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