Intellectual Property

  • This Subject Area Index lists all CALI lessons covering Intellectual Property.

Intellectual Property

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The Role of 'Use' in Trademark Law: An Overview

This lesson provides an overview of the central role of "use" in United States trademark law. It examines how the policy justifications driving trademark law (1) justify generally requiring use to obtain and maintain trademark rights and related infringement considerations and (2) define sufficient use for those trademark law purposes. It also addresses and explains the few specific exceptions to the use requirement. The lesson assumes a basic knowledge of trademark policy, the distinctiveness classification system and infringement. 

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Service Marks

This lesson explores the concept of service marks, and the similarities and differences between service marks and trademarks.

This lesson assumes that you have already acquired a basic familiarity with the rules that apply to marks that are used on or in connection with the offering of goods. Specifically, you should be familiar with the types of subject matter that may qualify as marks, the spectrum of distinctiveness, and the standard for determining whether a mark has been used in trade (or, for protection under the Lanham Act, in interstate commerce).

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Statutory Interpretation

This lesson introduces the student to the doctrine and processes involved in interpreting state and federal statutes. Statutes are a critical part of every substantive area of the law, so this is important background for every student, legal professional, lawyer and judge.

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Trademark Dilution: What Marks are Eligible for Protection

This lesson covers the types of marks that are deemed eligible for protection under federal and state dilution laws.  Although the focus is on eligibility under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act (Lanham Act section 43(c)), there is coverage of the different types of state dilution statutes -- those based on the earlier (1964) Model State Trademark Bill (such as Massachusetts), and those based on the federal statute.

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Trademark Exhaustion/First Sale

This lesson addresses the trademark doctrine of "exhaustion/first sale." The doctrine governs the trademark owner's continuing rights regarding authentic goods bearing the mark put into the marketplace. The lesson assumes familiarity with trademark's policy objectives, the basic "likelihood of confusion" test for infringement and "fair use," in particular nominative fair use and the problems associated with implied sponsorship.

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Trademark Fair use

This lesson covers the fair use and related "nominative" fair use defenses to claims of trademark infringement. It assumes basic familiarity with trademark policy, the "generic to fanciful" spectrum of distinctiveness trademark classification system, and the likelihood of confusion test for infringement. It can be used (1) as a stand-alone introduction, (2) as a supplement when time restrictions limit in-class coverage, or (3) to reinforce points made during class.

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Trademark Policy

This lesson discusses the social policy justifications for the legal protection of trademarks. It provides a general understanding of how those policy objectives derive from market economic principles as well as how they drive the core elements of trademark law. This lesson may be useful preparation for a first class on trademark law or to reinforce points made during a class on trademark policy.

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Trademarks in the European Union: Advanced Topics

This lesson is a follow up to the European Union-Trademark Basics lesson. It presents additional information concerning two topics: "Unusual" marks and Exhaustion of trademark rights. (With regard to the latter, there is a comparison with U.S. law in the lesson.) At a minimum, users should be familiar with U.S. trademark law and should either review the Basics lesson or be generally familiar with EU trademark law. This lesson may be best used for review and additional learning.

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