Category: Trademark


Crime and Punishment: Holding Russia Accountable for Weakening Foreign Entities’ Intellectual Property Rights

Eliot Usherenko The Russian government has deliberately weakened intellectual property right protections for entities from “unfriendly countries.” Following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent imposition of economic sanctions by the United States and its allies, the Kremlin launched policies targeting Western businesses as they withdrew from the Russian market. This Article analyzes three potential recourses—bilateral, multilateral, and non-governmental—impacted corporations and individuals could execute to hold Russia accountable for its discriminatory treatment. This Article argues that corporations should form partnerships with their respective governments to promote intergovernmental dialogue through mechanisms such as treaties, as well as undertake litigation in Russia’s...

From Canvas to Designer Cloth: The Exploitative Nature of the Fair Use Doctrine in the Arts

Victoria Schmidt This Essay examines the controversial launch of the 2020 COACH® x Basquiat Collection featuring the signature image of Jean- Michel Basquiat on Coach purses and clothing. These signature images were part of a larger work of art by Basquiat that aimed to critique racial segregation, police brutality, and the capitalistic pull of American society. Basquiat supporters critique the collaboration as a misappropriation of the artist’s message. Under this assumption, this Essay evaluates the scope of the fair use doctrine through a hypothetical copyright infringement claim against Coach. This Essay examines the provisions of current copyright laws and advocates...

Misbehaved Marks: Exploring the Implications of Iancu v. Brunetti

Devon Sanders In Iancu v. Brunetti, the Supreme Court decided that the First Amendment barred the United States Patent and Trademark Office from denying trademark registration for “immoral or scandalous” marks. This marked the first time that owners could register potentially obscene or derogatory marks. This decision changes the future of trademark registration and leaves lasting repercussions throughout trademark law in general. This Article explores the history of trademark law’s ban on registration for immoral or scandalous marks, recent judicial reform with Iancu v. Brunetti and its implications, and potential solutions to challenges caused by the decision. Read Full Text...

Legislative and Non-Legislative Approaches to Deterring Product Counterfeiting

Alec Weinberg Product counterfeiting has been a fast-growing problem in the U.S. economy. As a solution, Congress enacted several statutes to deter illegal counterfeiting. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of Congress’ efforts is questionable. To strengthen the deterrence effect, legislators should consider amending current laws to punish consumers and implementing alternative measures such as track and trace technologies. This approach would better protect businesses and consumers by expanding oversight responsibilities, creating barriers against counterfeit products, and changing public perception of counterfeit goods. Read Full Text Here

Bring Your Own Trademark: Compensating College Football Players Through Trademark Royalties

Sarah Murphy College football players deserve compensation for the value they create in the sport. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) Amateurism Rule, however, prohibits paying student-athletes, while coaches earn millions of dollars per year. A potential solution to combat this inequality is for universities to collect intellectual property licensing royalties from coaches and use that money toward compensating players. Additionally, college athletes should be informed about their right to trademark and should collect their own trademark licensing royalties in accordance with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in O’Bannon v. NCAA in 2015. Read...

Dilemma of Trade Dress, Informational Values and Enigmatic Distinctiveness; Semiotics Illuminating the Status of Distinctiveness

Qadir Qeidary Part I of the present article seeks to as a matter of fact assess trade dress’s potentiality of communicating information within an informative context. In that part, we try to explain that how and to what extent trade dress as a visual indicator is capable of meeting the trademark system’s goals by serving the richer and easier information to retrieve. Moreover, we show that how trade dress’s more effective abilities could positively affect the producers and consumers’ economic interests. Read Full Text Here

Mascot Madness: Are Characters in Times Square Violating Trademark Law?

Victoria Chu The activity in Times Square has also raised trademark issues. The First Amendment generally protects the costumed performers’ right to dress up like characters in public. The First Amendment also protects the costumed performers, so long as they ask for “donations” and “tips.” However, copyright and trademark owners, such as The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”) and Sesame Workshop, among others, have a legitimate interest in protecting their intellectual property. Such interests include their rights to terminate unlicensed use and to protect against consumer confusion and trademark dilution. Courts have not yet addressed whether or not the costumed performers...

Not Quite a Marathon

Keith Levinsky The dispute over “Marathon Monday” trademark began in 2011 when Velocity LLC applied to register the trademark in connection with sweatshirts, hats, and other clothing. Velocity, a clothing company from Everett, Massachusetts, produced clothing for the BAA from 2009 to 2010. The company asked the BAA about becoming the official licensee of the Boston Marathon trademark, but the BAA refused since it already had an exclusive agreement with Adidas. Adidas is the Official Footwear and Apparel Supplier of the Boston Marathon and provides apparel to Marathon volunteers, race officials, and runners. Read Full Text Here

Is Genericide a Matter of Fact or of Merit?

Shoshana Stern Courts’ analyses of genericness are rarely straightforward. Because few courts either say what they are doing or do what they say on this count, it can be difficult to determine what is actually going on. Through analysis of a number of historic cases and a few contemporary ones, this paper will explore the ways in which genericide has been treated. It will also investigate the extent to which courts’ vagueness in defining what a trademark owner must do to protect its mark has compelled mark owners to be excessively zealous in prosecuting infringers, out of fear that inaction...