Trademark Law

Spring 2023

Class Meeting Time: Monday and Wednesday 3:00-4:20 p.m.

Office Hours in WH 211: Monday and Wednesday 1:15-2:45 p.m., 4:20-5:20 p.m., and 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 9.0 of Professor Barton Beebe's casebook Trademark Law: An Open-Source Casebook (July 2022), which is available for free at this link on his website and other materials I may post on Blackboard.

Reading Assignments:


1/9: 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

1/11: 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

1/16: Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday - no class

1/18: CB 53-95

1/23: CB 95-131; Be prepared to talk in class about how to classify your mark from the 1/11 assignment on the Abercrombie spectrum; Optional assignment: Lisa P. Ramsey, Using Failure to Function Doctrine to Protect Free Speech and Competition in Trademark Law

1/25: CB 107-146

1/30: CB 137-164

2/1: CB 172-179; CB 184-206 (skips CB 165-171; CB 180-83)