TRADEMARK LAW – FALL 2019


HOW TO READ THE SYLLABUS AND FIND THE READING ASSIGNMENTS

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 there will be more class meetings than there are assignments. Every effort will be made to incorporate new developments in trademark law into the Syllabus, where appropriate.

The PART or page numbers listed below under “Beebe Casebook” refer to Barton Beebe – Trademark Law: An Open Source Casebook, Version 6.0.  This is a free, open set of materials.  See the Important Course Information page for information regarding how to access it and/or acquire a copy.

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 Important Course Information page.  In some instances the supplemental material may be posted to the TWEN page for this course, on Westlaw.

Within each assignment, 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 / 2019 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.

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.


DAY BY DAY SYLLABUS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS

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Class 1 (the first day of class): The Foundations and Purposes of Trademark and Unfair Competition Law — Introduction and Illustrations

Required Readings

Class 2: The Intersection of Law and Business: The Requirement that Trademarks Be Linked to “Goodwill,” and the Policing and Monitoring that Follow 

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART III.D., PART III.E. (ITC Ltd. v. Punchgini, Inc.; Crash Dummy Movie, LLC v. Mattel, Inc.; FreecycleSunnyvale v. Freecycle Network; Sugar Busters LLC v. Brennan) [PDF] // [DOCX]
  • BMW v. TurboSquid: a summary


Class 3: The Distinctiveness Spectrum

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.A.1.a. (Abercrombie & Fitch Co. v. Hunting World, Inc.; Zatarain’s, Inc. v. Oak Grove Smokehouse, Inc.; Innovation Ventures, LLC v. N.V.E., Inc.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 4: Acquired Distinctiveness

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.A.1.b. (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.) [PDF] // [DOCX]
  • Recommended (read on your own): Generic Marks and Further Classification Examples, Beebe Casebook PART XXX (Frito-Lay North America, Inc. v. Princeton Vanguard, LLC (x2)) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 5:  Distinctiveness and Non-Verbal Marks: Background

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.A.2.a. (Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc.; Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., Inc.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 6: Distinctiveness and Non-Verbal Marks: Product Packaging and Configuration

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.A.2.b. (Wal‐Mart Stores, Inc. v. Samara Bros., Inc.; In re Slokevage; LVL XIII Brands, Inc. v. Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A.; McKernan v. Burek; Best Cellars, Inc. v. Wine Made Simple, Inc.; Fedders Corp. v. Elite Classics; In re SnoWizard, Inc.; In re Frankish Enterprises Ltd.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Optional Materials

Class 7: Distinctiveness and Product Packaging Trade Dress

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.A.2.c. (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; In re Frankish Enterprises Ltd.; Star Industries, Inc. v. Bacardi & Co. Ltd.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 8: Bars to Protection: Utilitarian Functionality

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.B.1.a. (In re Morton‐Norwich Products, Inc.; Inwood Labs., Inc. v. Ives Labs., Inc.; TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Optional Materials

Class 9: Bars to Protection: Aesthetic Functionality

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.B.1.c. (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.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Optional Materials

Class 10: Bars to Protection: Deceptiveness

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.B.2. (you may OMIT In re California Innovations Inc.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Optional Materials

Assignment Number One will be distributed around this time. The Assignment will be due on Friday, October 18, 2019.

Class 11:  Other Bars to Protection: Marks that May Falsely Suggest a Connection; Confusingly Similar Marks

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.B.3., PART I.B.4. (In re Nieves & Nieves LLC) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Optional Materials

Class 12: Bars to Protection: Disparaging and Scandalous Marks

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.B.5. (Matal v. Tam; Iancu v. Brunetti) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 13: Use

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.C. (Aycock Engineering, Inc. v. Airflite, Inc.; Couture v. Playdom, Inc.; Planetary Motion, Inc. v. Techsplosion, Inc.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Optional Materials

Class 14: Registration

Required Readings

Optional Materials


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  • TOPIC 3:  GEOGRAPHY AND SCOPE OF TRADEMARK RIGHTS

Class 15: Geographic Limits

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.E.1., PART I.E.2. (Stone Creek, Inc. v. Omnia Italian Design, Inc.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 16: Territoriality 1 

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.E.3.a., PART I.E.3.b. (Person’s Co., Ltd. v. Christman; Grupo Gigante v. Dallo & Co., Inc.; ITC Ltd. v. Punchgini, Inc. (x2)) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Classes 17: Territoriality 2

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART I.E.3.c.(Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Optional Materials

Assignment Number Two will be distributed around this time. The Assignment will be due on Friday, November 22, 2019.


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Classes 18: Trademark Infringement – Use in Commerce 

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART II.A. (Rescuecom Corp. v. Google; Radiance Foundation, Inc. v. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 19: Confusion-Based Infringement

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART B.1., PART B.2., PART B.3. (Borden Ice Cream Co. v. Borden’s Condensed Milk Co.; Polaroid Corp. v. Polarad Electronics Corp.; Virgin Enterprises Ltd. v. Nawab) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 20: Confusion-Based Infringement

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART II.B.4., PART II.B.5. (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.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Optional Materials

Class 21: Confusion-Based Infringement

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART II.B.8., PART II.B.9. (Uber Promotions, Inc. v. Uber Technologies, Inc.; Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 22: Permissible Uses: Descriptive Fair Use

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART III.A. (KP 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) [PDF] // [DOCX]

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Classes 23: Confusion Away from the Point of Sale

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART II.B.6., II.B.7. (Multi Time Machine v. Amazon.com; Ferrari S.P.A. v. Roberts) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 24: Non-Confusion-Based Trademark Liability Theories

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART II.C.1., II.C.2. (Coach Servs., Inc. v. Triumph Learning LLC; Nike, Inc. v. Nikepal Intern., Inc.; Starbucks Corp. v. Wolfe’s Borough Coffee, Inc.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 25: Non-Confusion-Based Trademark Liability Theories

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART II.C.3. (V Secret Catalogue, Inc. v. Moseley) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Class 26: Permissible Uses: Nominative Fair Use

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART III.B. (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.; Mattel, Inc. v. Walking Mountain Productions) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Optional Materials

Class 27: Permissible Uses: Expressive Uses

Required Readings

  • Beebe Casebook PART III.C. (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. Haute Diggity Dog, LLC; Gordon v. Drape Creative, Inc.; Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, Inc.; Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. Hyundai Motor Am.; MPS Entm’t, LLC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.) [PDF] // [DOCX]

Assignment Number Three will be distributed during the last week of class. The Assignment will be due on the last day of exams.