LEGL 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: No Electronic Theft Act, Good Housekeeping, Trade Secret
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Key points - Chapter 8 Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual Property: Any property resulting from intellectual, creative processes – the
product of an individual’s mind.
Article I, Section 8 empowers Congress to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,
by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their
respective Writings and Discoveries.
Laws protecting patents, trademarks, and copyrights are explicitly designed to protect,
nurture, and reward inventive and artistic creativity.
Licensing: An intellectual property owner may license another party to use the owner’s
trademark, copyright, patent, etc. for certain purposes. A licensor must maintain some form
of control over the nature and quality of goods or services sold or rendered under the
Trademark: A distinctive mark, motto, device, or emblem that a manufacturer stamps, prints,
or otherwise affixes to the goods it produces so that they may be identified on the market
and their origins made known.
A trademark may be established
1. registering the mark with one or more states or with the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office pursuant to the Lanham Act
2. prior use sufficient to warrant common law protection
Trademark Dilution: Using a mark similar, but not identical, to a protected trademark.
Trademark Infringement: Using a protected trademark in its entirety or copying it to a
substantial degree without authorization.
Only marks that are sufficiently distinctive from all similar or competing marks will be
protected from infringement. Such trademark must enable consumers to identify the
manufacturer of the good easily and differentiate between competing products.
Strong Marks: Fanciful, arbitrary, or suggestive trademarks are generally considered to be
most distinctive because the mark is often unrelated to the nature of the product or service.
Secondary Meaning: Descriptive terms, geographic terms, and personal names are not
inherently distinctive, but will be protected if consumers associate the specific term or phrase
with the particular trademarked item.
Generic Terms: Terms that refer to an entire class of products are not entitled to protection,
even if the term was originally the name of a trademarked product.
TRADE DRESS AND SERVICE MARKS
Trade Dress: The image and overall appearance of a product (e.g.
, the distinctive decor,
menu, layout, and style of service of a particular restaurant). Trade dress is afforded the
same protection as a trademark.
Service Mark: A mark used in the sale or the advertising of services to distinguish the
services of one person or entity from those of another. Titles, character names, and other
distinctive features of radio and television programs may be registered as service marks.