Trademark Law

Fall 2021

Class Meeting Time: Tuesday and Thursday 2:30-3:50 pm

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 1:15-2:15 pm; 3:50-5:20 pm, or by appointment


Course Description: This course provides an overview of trademark and unfair competition law. We will discuss the purpose of these laws, the requirements for trademark protection, and the scope and enforcement of trademark rights. Specifically, we will cover the concepts of distinctiveness, functionality, and use of a trademark; the procedural and substantive aspects of trademark registration; geographic limits on trademark rights; trademark infringement, dilution, cybersquatting, counterfeiting, false advertising, false endorsement, and the right of publicity; and defenses and remedies in trademark actions.


Required Materials: Version 8.0 of Professor Barton Beebe's casebook Trademark Law: An Open-Source Casebook (2021), which is available for free at this link on his website. Note you can also purchase an at-cost print version through Amazon.com -- see Professor Beebe's website for more information.


Reading Assignments

Introduction

8/24: Pages 11-31 of the casebook (CB); Check out the USPTO’s Trademarks webpage and review one or more videos on its Trademark Information Network

I. Establishing Trademark Rights

8/26: CB 32-62; Select a product brand that you use or like, search for that trademark by clicking “Search our trademark database (TESS)” at this link, and be prepared to talk in class about how to classify that mark on the Abercrombie spectrum

8/31: CB 62-98

9/2: CB 99-128; Optional: (1) Lisa P. Ramsey, Using Failure to Function Doctrine to Protect Free Speech and Competition in Trademark Law (2020) available at this link; (2) Professor Ramsey on Non-Traditional Trademarks, California Lawyers Association Intangible Assets podcast (March 2, 2020), available at this link

9/7: CB 123-53

9/9: CB 153-84

9/14: CB 184-211

9/16: CB 211-40; Optional: Lisa Ramsey on Trademark Law & the First Amendment, Ipse Dixit podcast (July 1, 2019), available at this link

9/21: CB 240-58

9/23: CB 258-88

9/28: CB 288-321; Skip ITC cases and Belmora

II. Enforcement of Trademark Rights

9/30: CB 349-51; CB 360-65; CB 372-73; CB 381-88; Stone Brewing v. Millercoors, 445 F.Supp.3d 1113, 1125-1137 (SD Cal. 2020) (posted on Twen); Skip Rescuecom, Borden, Polaroid, and Virgin

10/5: CB 388-419

10/7: CB 419-36

10/10 at 10 pm: First trademark practice exam answer due on TWEN

10/12: CB 436-62

10/14: CB 462-78; CB 489-502; Skip Starbucks CB 479-89

10/19: CB 502-27

10/21: CB 528-52

III. Trademark Defenses and Other Limits on Trademark Rights

10/26: CB 553-75

10/28: Class rescheduled to 10/30 on Zoom

10/30 at 2:30 pm on Zoom: CB 575-606

11/2: CB 606-33

11/4: CB 633-62; Skip Nitro CB 662-72

IV. False Advertising

11/9: CB 672-706; Skip Substantiation section CB 706-28

11/11: Class rescheduled to 11/30 at 2:30 pm in our regular classroom

11/16: CB 729-58

V. Right of Publicity

11/18: CB 759-80

11/23: CB 781-99

11/29: Second trademark practice exam answer due on TWEN no later than 10 pm

IV. Remedies

11/30 at 2:30 pm in WH 2A: CB 800-11

12/2: Review