Dina Roumiantseva

Latest Articles

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands that design elements of cheerleading uniforms may be protected under the Copyright Act. The 6-2 decision, written by Justice Thomas, clarified the scope of protection afforded to clothing designs and, more broadly, designs on useful articles. Varsity Brands, Inc.—the country’s largest cheerleading supplier—owns more than 200 copyright registrations for two-dimensional designs consisting of combinations of chevrons, stripes, and other colorful…
Since our previous article on the emerging issue of trademark rights in hashtags, the use of hashtags in social media marketing has continued to grow. Described as the “ignition keys to a social media keyword search,” hashtags can be powerful tools for creating communities around a brand. Indeed, recent scholarship suggests that modern brand narratives are written in collaboration with consumer communities rather than by brand owners acting alone. A catchy hashtag creates its…
Hashtags have become ubiquitous in social media, but their status as intellectual property—particularly as trademarks—is still developing. First adopted by Twitter users to link user posts, hashtags are character strings preceded by the “#” symbol that generate a link to all other posts containing the same tag. Today, in addition to providing the search-related functionality for which they were first developed, hashtags provide businesses new ways to engage with consumers. Hashtag marketing campaigns by…