TRADEMARK LAW – FALL 2015

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.  This is a free, open set of materials that can be downloaded here:

For some assignments, other 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, the Syllabus notes 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.  The second is Intellectual Property: Law & The Information Society / Selected Statutes & Treaties / 2015 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 and LexisNexis.

Also optional: Several of the assignments include links to optional (but, I hope, entertaining) 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 (I hope) funny takes on relevant legal points.  Some of the film clips contain spicy [NSFW] language, sounds, and/or images.

I. Foundations and Purposes of Trademark and Unfair Competition Law

Optional: Glynn S. Lunney, Jr., Trademark Monopolies, 48 Emory L.J. 367 (1999)

Class 1 (the first day of class): Introduction and Illustrations

Required:

Optional but recommended – about the Swan Upping:

Optional but highly recommended – exploring Elvis Presley:

Still optional but still 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:

Class 2: Trademarks at the Intersection of Law and Business: Policing and Monitoring Casebook Part III 114-146 (ITC Ltd. v. Punchgini, Inc.; Crash Dummy Movie, LLC v. Mattel, Inc.; FreecycleSunnyvale v. Freecycle Network; Sugar Busters LLC v Brennan)

II. Creation of Trademark Rights

Optional: Graeme B. Dinwoodie, The Death of Ontology: A Teleological Approach to Trademark Law, 84 Iowa L. Rev. 611 (1999)

Class 3: The Distinctiveness Spectrum Casebook Part I 5 – 40 (Abercrombie & Fitch Co. v. Hunting World, Inc.; Zatarain’s, Inc. v. Oak Grove Smokehouse, Inc.; Innovation Ventures, LLC v. N.V.E., Inc.; Zobmondo Entertainment, LLC v. Falls Media, LLC)

Class 4: Acquired Distinctiveness Casebook Part I 40 – 56 (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.)

Class 5: Generic Marks Casebook Part I 56 – 87 (Frito-Lay North America, Inc. v. Princeton Vanguard, LLC (x2))

Class 6: Distinctiveness and Non-Verbal Marks: Background Casebook Part I 87 – 117 (Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc.; Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., Inc.)

Class 7: Distinctiveness and Non-Verbal Marks: Product Packaging and Configuration Casebook Part I 117 – 137 (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; Art Attacks Ink, LLC v. MGA Entertainment Inc.)

Class 8: Distinctiveness and Product Packaging Trade Dress Casebook Part I 137 – 160 (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 9: Bars to Protection: Functionality (Basics) Casebook Part I 161 – 186 (In re Morton‐Norwich Products, Inc.; Inwood Labs., Inc. v. Ives Labs., Inc.; TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc.)

Class 10: Bars to Protection: Utilitarian Functionality Casebook Part I 187 – 206 (Valu Engineering, Inc. v. Rexnord Corp.; Eppendorf-Netheler-Hinz GmbH v. Ritter GmbH; Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.Specialized Seating, Inc. v. Greenwich Industries, L.P.)

Memorandum Assignment Number One will be distributed around this time. The Assignment will be due on Friday, October 9, 2015.

Class 11: Bars to Protection: Aesthetic Functionality Casebook Part I 206 – 230 (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 12: Bars to Protection: Deceptiveness Casebook Part I 231 – 242

Class 13: Bars to Protection: Scandalous Marks and Disparaging Marks Casebook Part I 242 – 271 (In re Marsha Fox; In re Heeb Media, LLC)

Class 14: Other Bars to Protection Casebook Part I 262 – 271 (In re Nieves & Nieves LLC)

Class 15: Use Casebook Part I 272 – 297 (Aycock Engineering, Inc. v. Airflite, Inc.; Planetary Motion, Inc. v. Techsplosion, Inc.)

Class 16: Registration Casebook Part I 298 – 342 (M.Z. Berger & Co., Inc. v. Swatch AG; Park ‘N Fly, Inc. v. Dollar Park and Fly, Inc.)

III. Scope and Enforcement of Trademark Rights

Class 17: Geographic Limits Casebook Part I 343 – 361 (United Drug Co. v. Theodore Rectanus Co.)

Class 18: Territoriality Casebook Part I 361 – 410 (Person’s Co., Ltd. v. Christman; Grupo Gigante v. Dallo & Co., Inc.; ITC Limited v. Punchgini, Inc. (x2))

Optional: Mark A. McKenna, The Normative Foundations of Trademark Law, 82 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1839 (2007)

Class 19: Trademark Infringement – Use in Commerce Casebook Part II 3 – 28 (Rescuecom Corp. v. Google; Bosley Medical Institute, Inc. v. Kremer)

Class 20: Confusion-Based Infringement Casebook Part II 28 – 59 (Borden Ice Cream Co. v. Borden’s Condensed Milk Co.; Polaroid Corp. v. Polarad Electronics Corp.; Virgin Enterprises Ltd. v. Nawab)

Class 21: Confusion-Based Infringement Casebook Part II 59 – 94 (Smith v. Wal‐Mart Stores, Inc.; Board of Supervisors for Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College v. Smack Apparel Co.)

Memorandum Assignment Number Two will be distributed around this time. The Assignment will be due on Friday, November 13, 2015.

Class 22: Confusion-Based Infringement Casebook Part II 128-162 (A & H Sportswear, Inc. v. Victoria’s Secret Stores, Inc.; Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.)

Class 23: Confusion Away from the Point of Sale Casebook Part II 96-128 (Multi Time Machine v. Amazon.com; Ferrari S.P.A. v. Roberts)

Optional: Barton Beebe, Search and Persuasion in Trademark Law, 103 Mich. L. Rev. 2020 (2005)

Class 24: Non-Confusion-Based Trademark Liability Theories Casebook Part II 164 – 210 (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 210 – 226 (V Secret Catalogue, Inc. v. Moseley)

IV.  Defenses and Limitations

Class 26: Permissible Uses: Descriptive Fair Use Casebook Part III 3 – 32 (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) 

Class 27: Permissible Uses: Nominative Fair Use Casebook Part III 32 – 53 (Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. v. Tabari; Tiffany (NJ) Inc. v. eBay Inc.; Liquid Glass Enterprises, Inc. v. Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG; Toho Co., Ltd. v. William Morrow & Co., Inc.)

Class 28: Permissible Uses: Expressive Uses Casebook Part III 54-113 (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.)

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