The complex rules of copyright and trademark law are designed so that creators of popular expressive works and companies marketing authentic branded products are properly protected. This Christmas, we’re looking at a series of rulings from U.S. federal courts on intellectual property (IP) issues involving holiday ornaments, public displays with light sculptures, as well as one of the most popular Christmas songs ever. These cases don’t simply show that a Santa Claus can be designed with non-generic copyrightable elements; they also show members of the U.S. federal judiciary working diligently to properly dispense justice on IP questions between the adverse parties arguing before them.

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