A stitch in time: Untangling H&M v Unicolors


Muireann Bolger

A stitch in time: Untangling H&M v Unicolors

Roger Utting / Shutterstock.com

The ruling may excuse unwitting copyright registration errors but lawyers are divided over its future impact, finds Muireann Bolger.

Five years ago, a dispute over a geometric design pattern wove a tapestry of misaligned judgments throughout the US courts, even prompting an intervention by the US government.

But in February, the US Supreme Court bound up the case, handing down a fractured ruling against Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) over the fast-fashion company’s use of a sweater pattern.

The court issued the 6-3 decision in favour of designer Unicolors, deciding that a lack of knowledge of either fact or law can excuse an inaccuracy in a copyright registration.

H&M, Unicolors, copyright registration, US Supreme Court, fast-fashion, design, Ninth Circuit, plaintiff