278.1S sec. 001 - Trademark Law and Branding (Summer 2024)
Instructor: Sonia Katyal (view instructor's profile)
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Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person
MTuWThF 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Law 244
From May 14, 2024
To May 31, 2024
Enroll Limit: 35
As of: 02/28 07:33 AM
A trademark is a designation that distinguishes the source of goods or services. The law of trademarks is part of the broader law of unfair competition, which protects against a variety of “deceptive” and “inequitable” business practices. In this course, we will examine the subject matter of trademark and unfair competition law, the interaction of trademark and unfair competition law with the patent and copyright regimes, the requirements for acquiring and retaining federal trademark rights, the standards for determining whether a trademark (registered or unregistered) has been infringed, defenses to trademark infringement, dilution doctrines, and certain other rights against unfair competition. Studying the doctrinal rules in this area will not be enough, however, since those rules are bound to change. Trademark and unfair competition law have evolved significantly over the last century, and the rate of change has increased exponentially in the technological age. Our objective is both to understand current legal rules and to situate those rules in a broader historical, normative, and doctrinal context, with a particular focus on freedom of expression. Thus, in addition to studying current rules, we will study how trademark and unfair competition law have evolved and discuss the reasons for those changes.
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