Katherine Forrest

Christmas Comes Early for “Useful Article” Copyright Holder

 

Order Denying Motion and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, Jetmax Ltd. v. Big Lots, Inc. et al., 15-cv-9597 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2017) (Judge Katherine Forrest)

Tricky questions can arise when a person or company attempts to copyright the decorative aspects of a “useful article” that has some practical, nonartistic function.  The questions become trickier still when the decorative aspects of the article are three-dimensional “sculptural” elements, as opposed to two-dimensional words or images.  Judge Katherine Forrest’s recent order in Jetmax Ltd. v. Big Lots, Inc. et al., pending in the Southern District of New York, addresses whether a plaintiff can copyright the decorative cover on a set of Christmas lights.  Note that the “cover” is the physical housing that surrounds the light bulb. READ MORE