TRADEMARK LAW – FALL 2017

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Reading and Class Assignments


How to read the Syllabus:
Except as noted below, each assignment below corresponds tentatively to one class period, though the amount of material to be covered in class, the order of the assignments, and/or the contents of a particular assignment may be changed by prior announcement. Note, for example, that we will have more class meetings than there are assignments. I will make every effort to incorporate new developments in trademark law into the Syllabus, where appropriate.

The page numbers listed below under “Casebook” refer to Barton Beebe - Trademark Law: An Open Source Casebook, Version 4.0.  This is a free, open set of materials.  See the Course Information page at the link above for information regarding how to access it and/or acquire a copy.

For each assignment, the page range associated with the "Casebook" is accompanied by a list of the equivalent section numbers in the LawCarta version of the casebook. Those are noted as "LC" sections.

For some assignments, additional required supplemental cases or materials have been posted online. Those cases are separately identified in each assignment.  They can be downloaded below and at the Course Information page.  In one instance the supplemental material is posted to the TWEN page for this course, on Westlaw.

Within each assignment, in the middle column below, the Syllabus notes the required reading, including the principal case(s) covered in the text. In addition to the assigned readings, where a case or other material refers to the Lanham Act (Title 15 of the United States Code), students are responsible for locating and reading the section(s) of the Act to which the text refers.  At least two, free online resources are available for that purpose:  One is this free, online version of the Lanham Act.  Two is Intellectual Property: Law & The Information Society / Selected Statutes & Treaties / 2016 Edition (James Boyle & Jennifer Jenkins, eds.). 

For several of the units of reading, optional law review articles are included. Some of these are relatively short. Some are quite long. Reading some or all of them will give students a deeper picture of the current state of trademark law and policy than students will get by focusing on appellate cases and the statute alone. All of the articles are available via Westlaw (via the course TWEN page) and LexisNexis.

Many of the assignments include, in the right column below, links to optional (but possibly entertaining and useful) supplemental material.  Some provides historical context for the assigned cases. Some consists of clips from motion pictures and television shows that illustrate related trademark themes.  In some cases, these, too, illustrate the assigned readings.  In some cases, they are (one hopes) funny takes on relevant legal points.  Some of the film clips contain spicy [NSFW] language, sounds, and/or images.

The Classical or Traditional Model of Trademark Law starts here.
I. The Foundations and Purposes of Trademark and Unfair Competition Law Optional legal scholarship: Glynn S. Lunney, Jr., Trademark Monopolies, 48 Emory L.J. 367 (1999)
Class 1 (the first day of class): Introduction and IllustrationsExploring Elvis Presley:Highly recommended - references to the power of signs and the power of advertising:

1920s and 1930s - branding:1950s - a simple story of information and persuasion:1990s to the present - a complex story of meaning, identity, and commerce:Recommended for historical context (see fn. 4 of the Casebook Introduction) - about the Swan Upping:  The Swan Upping
Class 2: The Intersection of Law and Business: The Requirement that Trademarks Be Linked to "Goodwill," and the Policing and Monitoring that Follow Casebook Introduction 29-58 (LC sections 1.4 and 1.5) (ITC Ltd. v. Punchgini, Inc.; Crash Dummy Movie, LLC v. Mattel, Inc.; FreecycleSunnyvale v. Freecycle Network; Sugar Busters LLC v Brennan)
II. What is a Trademark? Creation of Trademark Rights
Optional legal scholarship: Graeme B. Dinwoodie, The Death of Ontology: A Teleological Approach to Trademark Law, 84 Iowa L. Rev. 611 (1999)
Optional legal scholarship: Mark A. McKenna, The Normative Foundations of Trademark Law, 82 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1839 (2007)
Class 3: The Distinctiveness Spectrum Casebook Part I 5 - 30 (LC sections 2 and 2.1.1,
up to "Acquired Distinctiveness of Source" heading) (Abercrombie & Fitch Co. v. Hunting World, Inc.; Zatarain's, Inc. v. Oak Grove Smokehouse, Inc.; Innovation Ventures, LLC v. N.V.E., Inc.)
Class 4: Acquired Distinctiveness Casebook Part I 30 - 45 (LC remainder of section 2.1.1) (Frosty Treats Inc. v. Sony Computer Entertainment America; Cartier, Inc. v. Four Star Jewelry Creations, Inc.; Board of Supervisors for Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College v. Smack Apparel Co.)
Recommended (read on your own):

Generic Marks and Further Classification Examples, Casebook Part I 45 - 73 (Frito-Lay North America, Inc. v. Princeton Vanguard, LLC (x2))
Class 5: Distinctiveness and Non-Verbal Marks: Background Casebook Part I 73 - 98 (LC section 2.1.2 up to "Differing Distinctiveness Analysis" heading) (Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc.; Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., Inc.)
Class 6: Distinctiveness and Non-Verbal Marks: Product Packaging and ConfigurationCasebook Part I 98 - 116 (LC section 2.1.2 up to "Analyzing the Inherent Distinctiveness of Product Packaging" heading) (Wal‐Mart Stores, Inc. v. Samara Bros., Inc.; In re Slokevage; McKernan v. Burek; Best Cellars, Inc. v. Wine Made Simple, Inc.; Fedders Corp. v. Elite Classics; In re Brouwerij Bosteels)
Class 7: Distinctiveness and Product Packaging Trade Dress Casebook Part I 116 - 136 (LC remainder of section 2.1.2) (Fun-Damental Too, Ltd. v. Gemmy Industries Corp.; Amazing Spaces, Inc. v. Metro Mini Storage; Fiji Water Co., LLC v. Fiji Mineral Water USA, LLC; Star Industries, Inc. v. Bacardi & Co. Ltd.)
Class 8: Bars to Protection: Utilitarian Functionality Casebook Part I 137 - 160 (LC sections 2.2 and 2.2.1 up to "Aesthetic Functionality" heading) (In re Morton‐Norwich Products, Inc.; Inwood Labs., Inc. v. Ives Labs., Inc.; TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc.)
Writing Assignment Number One will be distributed around this time. The Assignment will be due on Friday, October 13, 2017.
Class 9: Bars to Protection: Aesthetic FunctionalityCasebook Part I 178 - 197 (LC remainder of section 2.2.1) (Pagliero v. Wallace China Co.; Wallace Int'l Silversmiths, Inc. v. Godinger Silver Art Co.; Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent America Holding, Inc.)
Class 10: Bars to Protection: DeceptivenessCasebook Part I 197 - 208 (LC section 2.2.2) (OMIT In re California Innovations Inc.)
Class 11: Other Bars to ProtectionCasebook Part I 208 - 216 (LC sections 2.2.3 and 2.2.4) (In re Nieves & Nieves LLC)
Class 12: Bars to Protection: Scandalous Marks and Disparaging Marks Casebook Part I 217 - 235 (LC section 2.2.5) (Matal v. Tam)
Class 13: Use Casebook Part I 235 - 258 (LC section 2.3) (Aycock Engineering, Inc. v. Airflite, Inc.; Planetary Motion, Inc. v. Techsplosion, Inc.)
Class 14: RegistrationCasebook Part I 258 - 297 (LC section 2.4) (M.Z. Berger & Co., Inc. v. Swatch AG; Park ‘N Fly, Inc. v. Dollar Park and Fly, Inc.)
III. Geography and Scope of Trademark Rights
Class 15: Geographic Limits Casebook Part I 297 - 312 (LC sections 2.5, 2.5.1, and 2.5.2) (Stone Creek, Inc. v. Omnia Italian Design, Inc.)
Class 16: Territoriality 1 Casebook Part I 312 - 368 (LC section 2.5.3 up to "Belmora and the End of Territorial Limits" heading) (Person's Co., Ltd. v. Christman; Grupo Gigante v. Dallo & Co., Inc.; ITC Limited v. Punchgini, Inc. (x2)) 
Class 17: Territoriality 2Casebook Part I 355-368 (LC remainder of section 2.5.3) (Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG)
IV. Enforcement of Trademark Rights
Optional legal scholarship: Mark A. Lemley & Mark McKenna, Irrelevant Confusion, 62 Stan. L. Rev. 413 (2010)
Class 18: Trademark Infringement - Use in Commerce Casebook Part II 3 - 24 (LC sections 3 and 3.1) (Rescuecom Corp. v. Google; Radiance Foundation, Inc. v. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Class 19: Confusion-Based Infringement Casebook Part II 24 - 52 (LC sections 3.2, 3.2.1, and 3.2.2) (Borden Ice Cream Co. v. Borden’s Condensed Milk Co.; Polaroid Corp. v. Polarad Electronics Corp.; Virgin Enterprises Ltd. v. Nawab)
Class 20: Confusion-Based Infringement Casebook Part II 52 - 87 (LC sections 3.2.3 and 3.2.4) (Smith v. Wal‐Mart Stores, Inc.; Int'l Info. Sys. Sec. Certification Consortium, Inc. v. Sec. Univ., LLC; Board of Supervisors for Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College v. Smack Apparel Co.)
Writing Assignment Number Two will be distributed around this time. The Assignment will be due on Friday, November 17, 2017.
Class 21: Confusion-Based Infringement Casebook Part II 111-142 (LC sections 3.2.7 and 3.2.8) (Uber Promotions, Inc. v. Uber Technologies, Inc.; Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.)
V.  Defenses and Limitations
Class 22: Permissible Uses: Descriptive Fair UseCasebook Part III 2 - 28 (LC sections 4 and 4.1) (K.P. Permanent Make-Up, Inc. v. Lasting Impression I, Inc.; Dessert Beauty, Inc. v. Fox; Sorensen v. WD-40 Company; International Stamp Art v. U.S. Postal Service; Bell v. Harley Davidson Motor Co.; Fortune Dynamic, Inc. v. Victoria’s Secret) 
Challenges to and extensions of classical or traditional trademark law begin here.
VI. Novel and Expansive Theories of Trademark LiabilityOptional legal scholarship:  Barton Beebe, Intellectual Property Law and the Sumptuary Code, 123 Harv. L. Rev. 809 (2010)
Class 23: Confusion Away from the Point of Sale Casebook Part II 87-111 (LC sections 3.2.5 and 3.2.6) (Multi Time Machine v. Amazon.com; Ferrari S.P.A. v. Roberts)
Class 24: Non-Confusion-Based Trademark Liability Theories Casebook Part II 145 - 185 (LC sections 3.3, 3.3.1, and 3.3.2) (Coach Servs., Inc. v. Triumph Learning LLC; Nike, Inc. v. Nikepal Intern., Inc.; Starbucks Corp. v. Wolfe's Borough Coffee, Inc.)
Class 25: Non-Confusion-Based Trademark Liability Theories Casebook Part II 186 - 200 (LC section 3.3.3) (V Secret Catalogue, Inc. v. Moseley)
VII. Novel and Expansive Defenses and Limitations
Class 26: Permissible Uses: Nominative Fair UseCasebook Part III 28 - 49 (LC section 4.2) (Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. v. Tabari; Int'l Info. Sys. Sec. Certification Consortium, Inc. v. Sec. Univ., LLC; Liquid Glass Enterprises, Inc. v. Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG; Toho Co., Ltd. v. William Morrow & Co., Inc.)
Class 27: Permissible Uses: Expressive UsesCasebook Part III 49-102 (LC section 4.3) (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. Haute Diggity Dog, LLC; E.S.S. Entertainment 2000, Inc. v. Rock Star Videos, Inc.;  Brown v. Electronic Arts; Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, Inc.; Mattel, Inc. v. Walking Mountain Productions; Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. Hyundai Motor Am.; MPS Entm't, LLC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.)
Class 28 (time permitting): Digital Goods
Writing Assignment Number Three will be distributed during the last week of class. The Assignment will be due on the last day of exams.