By Tamar Duvdevani

On March 22, 2017, in a 6-2 decision authored by Justice Thomas, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the designs on Varsity Brands’ cheerleading uniforms are eligible for copyright protection.  The crux of this decision relates to the fact that the United States Copyright Act treats the copyrightability of “useful articles” differently than “pure” works of art.  Specifically, the Act states that: “The design of a useful article, as defined in this section, shall be considered a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.”  17 U.S.C. § 101.
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By James Clark (Leeds)

Most of us are familiar with the many ways in which customer activity can be tracked in the online space. Customer accounts, cookies, web beacons and tracking pixels are familiar tools in the e-commerce arsenal, and all come with familiar challenges from a privacy and data protection perspective. Increasingly, retailers are expanding tracking technologies into the physical space through the use of Wi-Fi location analytics. As the benefits of tracking translate into the real world, so too do the compliance obligations.
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By Sandra Bell (Washington, DC)

Your latest shipment of imports is detained at the border. You are told that your goods are not being allowed admission to the US because they were produced, in whole or in part, with forced labor. But these are the same products you’ve been importing, in pretty much the same way, for years. What is happening? Is this even possible?
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By: Richard Taylor and Alasdair Muller (United Kingdom)

The English Court of Appeal has confirmed that, in the UK, the sale or distribution of trade mark goods outside an authority granted by the trade mark holder can constitute a criminal offence (R v C and others, applying Trade Marks Act 1994 (the “Act”) s92(1)*).  Possession with a view to sell/distribute such goods is also a criminal offence. 
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