Citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on copyright protection for artistic elements of everyday products, a Southern District judge has ruled that a light set’s decorative covers deserve protection because they are “sculptural works … capable of existing apart from the utilitarian aspect of the light set.”
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest’s decision, which focused largely on a “separability analysis” among the set’s artistic features and its intended use, denied defendant Advance International Inc.’s cross-motion for summary judgment. Advance International and related defendants had partially argued the light set couldn’t be copyrighted because it was a “useful article” containing artistic elements not sufficiently separable from its use.
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