This course surveys the law of trademarks and unfair competition, including the right of publicity and other related statutory and common law schemes. A trademark is a word, symbol, phrase or other device used to identify the products or services of a particular manufacturer or provider and distinguish them from those of another. For example, the trademark "Apple" (along with its famous silhouette image) identifies the computers and other products produced by Apple Inc. and distinguishes them from the products of Microsoft, Google and others. Trademark protection can also extend to other aspects of a product or service, such as its color, its packaging, its sound, or even its smell.
Knowledge of trademark law has innumerable industry applications and, like copyright law, is of critical importance to both transactional and litigation practitioners in the fields of entertainment, media, fashion, art and technology. At Southwestern, Trademark Law is particularly recommended for anyone seeking to enroll in the Unscripted Television Production Law course. Following the completion of this course, the student should be able to demonstrate a foundational understanding of the discipline, including the prerequisites for common law and federal trademark protection, the protections offered by section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, secondary meaning, generic terms, subject matter, trade dress, functionality, ownership, registration, infringement, dilution, cybersquatting, defenses and remedies.
Throughout the course, students will apply their knowledge to various issues that arise in the creative, communication and technology industries.