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2, 4, 6, 8! Who Does Big Fashion Appreciate? The Sixth Circuit Protects Clothing Design In A Thrilling Overtime Victory.

The Sixth Circuit shook up copyright law – and had some fun with it – in the recent decision Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, with reasoning that hinged on an unusual proposition: “[a] plain white cheerleading top and plain white skirt still cover the body and permit the wearer to cheer, jump, kick, and flip.”  (No. 14-5237, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14522, *51 (6th Cir. Aug. 19, 2015).)   The decision, which found a protectable copyright in stripes, chevrons and patterns on uniforms, stood conventional wisdom on its head, flipped the usual script of copyright analysis, and gave new cheer to fashion designers, who are typically shut out from copyright protection. 

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TAGS: Copyright Law, Intellectual Property, Sixth Circuit

Title Isn’t Everything: Sixth Circuit Taps Jury to Decide Keller’s FLSA Fate

Albeit seemingly self-evident, Keller v. Miri, 781 F.3d 799 (6th Cir. 2015), serves as a renewed caveat that title isn’t everything: merely designating workers as independent contractors is not sufficient to avoid Fair Labor Standards Act obligations.  In this recent Sixth Circuit decision, the Court reversed the district court, finding sufficient and genuine issues of material fact that entitled a jury to decide whether a satellite dish installer qualified for overtime and minimum wage protections under the FLSA. 

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TAGS: FLSA, Sixth Circuit

Sixth Circuit Sides With Management in Dispute Over Employee’s Request to Telecommute

In a potentially important decision over workplace accommodations in an environment when telecommuting is more common, the Sixth Circuit ruled on April 10 that an employer does not need to permit an employee to work from home when an essential aspect of the employee’s position requires being in the office. 

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Yet Another Reason to Read the Fine Print: Allied Industrial Scrap, Inc. v. Omnisource, Corp. (6th Cir. 2015)

Late television curmudgeon Andy Rooney is said to have observed that “nothing in fine print is good news.” Based on a recent decision from the Sixth Circuit, the fine print can be good news for some, and costly for others.

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