THE LAW OF BRANDING: TRADEMARKS,
TRADE DRESS & UNFAIR COMPETITION
NORM D. ST. LANDAU
Tucker Flyer, P.C.
1615 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 429-3722 (office)
Course Outline and Reading Assignments
Welcome to the George Mason University School of Law course on trademark law, which focuses on how businesses identify their products through brand names, advertising and packaging.
All reading assignments have been reproduced in the collection materials available from the Law School for this course.
Grading and Evaluation
On the assumption that many students are enrolled because they wish to be hired as attorneys, I grade students in the same way that I evaluate prospective associates who may wish to work for a law firm. Strong analytical thought, articulately expressed– and at times with style – is the currency of this classroom.
There will be two short papers (5 - 10 pages, typed, double-spaced) and a take home, open book, final exam. Class participation can enhance but not lower your grade.
Tuesday and Thursday, August 24 and 26
Introduction - The History of Branding
Trademarks and Consumer Protection
What is a Trademark?
Business Presentation: Branding and Packing for the Marketing Force
-- A presentation commonly made to businesses on how to develop brands and avoid infringement claims.
Hanover Star Milling Co. v. Metcalf, 240 U.S. 403 (1916); T&T Manufacturing Co. vs. A.T. Cross Co., 587 F.2d 533 (1st Cir. 1978); PTO Policy on Registration of Domain Names as Trademarks
Tuesday and Thursday, August 31 and September 2
Strength of Marks
Use as A Trademark
Oral Argument: Registrability of the Mark FOUNTAIN STYLE for "soft drinks."
Miller Brewing Co. v. Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co., 605 F.2d 990 (7th Cir. 1979); Nestle Co. v. Chester's Market, Inc., 571 F.Supp. 763 (D. Conn. 1983), rev'd 756 F.2d 280 (2nd Cir. 1985); In re Huddle, 216 USPQ 358 (TTAB 1982); In re Colonial Refining and Chemical, 196 USPQ 46 (TTAB 1977); Examining Attorney Office Action holding FOUNTAIN STYLE to be merely descriptive (handout).
Tuesday and Thursday, September 7 and 9
Secondary Meaning – Protecting Descriptive Terms and Non-distinctive Designs
Acquisition of Rights: The Common Law Scandalous Marks
Oral Argument: The Cleveland Indians Logo
New West Corp. v. NYM Co. v. California, Inc., 595 F.2d 1194 (9th Cir. 1979); Unisplay S.A. v. American Electric Sign Co., 28 USPQ2d 1721 (E.D. Wa. 1993); Person's Co. v. Christman, 900 F.2d 1565 (Fed.Cir. 1990); Excerpts from Harjo v. Pro-Football, Inc., slip opinion.
Tuesday and Thursday, September 14 and 16
Federal Registration vs. Common Law Rights
San Giorgio Trademark File Wrapper
Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc. v. Thrift Car, Inc., 639 F.Supp. 750 (D.Mass. 1986); Dawn Donut Co. v. Hart's Food Stores, Inc., 267 F.Supp. 358 (2d Cir. 1959); Holiday Inns of America vs. B&B Corp., 409 F.2d 614 (3rd Cir. 1969); Lane Ltd. vs. Jackson Int'l Trading Co., 33 USPQ2d 1351 (TTAB 1994).
Tuesday and Thursday, September 21 and 23
Intent to Use Applications
Post-Registration – Statements of Use and Incontestability
Oral Argument: Fraud on the Patent Office
Expert Witness Report of Edward M. Prince; Expert Witness Report of Gary D. Krugman; Family Circle v. Family Circle Associates, Inc., 205 F. Supp. 940 (DNJ 1962); Park 'N Fly v. Dollar Park & Fly, Inc., 469 U.S. 189 (1985).
Tuesday and Thursday, September 28 and 30
Infringement – Likelihood of Confusion
Sound, Appearance and Meaning
Examination of a Survey Expert
Jordache Enters v. Levi Strauss & Co., 841 F.Supp. 506 (SDNY 1993); Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences v. Creative House Promotions, 944 F.2d 1446 (9th Cir. 1991); Esso v. Humble Oil & Refining Co., 363 F.2d 945 (5th Cir. 1966); Survey Reports.
Tuesday and Thursday, October 5 and 7
Abandonment of Trademark Rights
Non-use of Mark
Abandonment through Naked Licensing and Uncontrolled Use
Summary Judgment Argument: SAN GIORGIO
Exxon Corp. v. Humble Exploration Co., 695 F.2d 96 (5th 1983); Shiela's Shine Products, Inc. v. Sheila Shine, Inc., 486 F.2d 114 (5th Cir. 1973); BellSouth Corp. v. DataNational Corp., 60 F.3d 1565 (Fed.Cir. 1995).
Thursday, October 14
Oral Argument – SENSITIVE EYES vs. FOR SENSITIVE EYES
SCI Systems, Inc. v. Solidstate Controls, Inc., 748 F.Supp. 1257 (SD Ohio 1990); Conan Properties, Inc. v. Conans Pizza, Inc., 752 F.2d 145 (5th Cir. 1985); Zatarains, Inc. v. Oak Grove Smokehouse, 698 F.2d 786 (5th Cir. 1983).
Tuesday and Thursday, October 19 and 21
Trade Dress Infringement
-Infringement of Packaging
-Infringement of Advertising
-Infringement of Product Configurations
Anatomy of California SunCare, Inc. vs. ETS, Inc.
Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc., 505 U.S. 763 (1992); Ciba-Geigy Corp. v. Bolar Pharmaceutical, 547 F.Supp. 1095 (D.N.J. 1982); Le Sportsac, Inc. v. K-Mart Corporation, 754 F.2d 71 (2nd Cir. 1985).
Tuesday and Thursday, October 26 and 28
Parody: The Constitutional Right to Laugh
Parody Case Studies
Mead Data Cent., Inc. v. Toyota Motor Sales, Inc., 875 F.2d 1026 (2d 1961); Star Markets v. Texaco, Inc., 950 F.Supp. 1030 (1996); L.L. Bean, Inc. v. Drake Publishers, Inc., 811 F.2d 26 (1st Cir. 1987).
Tuesday and Thursday, November 2 and 4
Oral Argument: Color Depletion Theory
Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., 514 U.S. 159 (1995); In re General Electric Broadcasting Co., 199 USPQ 560 (TTAB 1978); In re Clarke, 17 USPQ2d 1238 (TTAB 1990).
Tuesday and Thursday, November 9 and 11
Remedies: Injunctions, Damages and Attorneys Fees
Examination of a Damage Expert
Citibank v. Citytrust, 756 F.2d 273 (2nd Cir. 1985); Big O Tire Dealers, Inc. v. Goodyear, 561 F.2d 1365 (10th Cir. 1977); International Star Class Yacht Racing Ass'n v. Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc., 80 F.2d 749 (2d Cir. 1996).
Tuesday and Thursday, November 16 and 18
Infringement in Cyberspace
Initial Interest Confusion
Oral Argument: Jurisdiction over Cybersquatters
Millennium Enterprises v. Millennium Music, LP, 33 F. Supp.2d 907 (D.Or. 1999); Porsche Cars, N.A. v. PORSCH.COM, et. al., C. A. No. 99-0006-A; Panavision Int'l L.P. v. Toeppen, 945 F. Supp. 1296 (C.D. Cal. 1996), aff'd, 141 F.3d 1316 (9th Cir. 1998).
Tuesday and Tuesday, November 23 and 30
Class Summary: Putting it All Together – Client Counseling
Review of Trademark Search Opinions – A Client Counseling Session
Trademark Search Opinion (Handout)
Thursday, December 2
Review and Questions