Trademark & Unfair Competition Law

Spring 2004

Tuesday & Thursday 2:00-3:20

Prof. Michael Froomkin University of Miami School of Law

The casebook for this class will be Jane C. Ginsburg, Jessica Litman, Mary L. Kevlin, TRADEMARK AND UNFAIR COMPETITION LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (3rd Edition 2001).   Please note that there are TWO "3rd ed. 2001" and you want the revised edition. Beware of used copies that are not the revised edition. (The difference is not visible from the cover, you have to look at the bottom of the copyright page which should say something like "first reprint 2002" or a later date.)

You should also acquire the most recent edition (2003) of the statutory appendix to the casebook.

Grades will be based on a three-hour exam and a substantial class participation component.

Class cancellations requiring make-ups:
Feb 10  (possible) &  March 25 (certain)

I can often be found in Rm. 382.  My office hours are [TBA] and by appointment.  Please don't hesitate to come by during office hours if you have any questions, or to make an appointment for another time.

I hope to be posting class notes shortly before each  class.  By doing so I hope to minimize your need to take notes and maximize your thinking and class participation.

Class notes:

Latest notes: 22























Fall 2001 Trademark exam

Here are some answers to pt. 1 of that exam. Please note that I also gave partial or even full credit for different, well-reasoned answers.

2003 Exam...and a model answer for question 2. This is a genuine student answer that got an "A". (don't peek until you've at least outlined your answer!)

Please note that the exam this year will be CLOSED BOOK.

Here is a  tentative syllabus 

Introduction (Ch.1): 1 unit

Optional: If you want a really heroic overview of many of the topics we'll be covering this semester, you are invited to read Casebook (CB) pp. 1-30.  Read it now, re-read it at the end of the semester, and measure how much you have learned. For the first class, please read:

What is a Trademark? (Ch. 2): 2 units

Lanham Act §§ 2, 45 ( 15 U.S.C. §§ 1052 , 1127 )

Acquisition of Trademark Rights (Ch. 3): 3 units 

Lanham Act § 1 ( 15 U.S.C. § 1051 )

Registration (Ch. 4): 2 units

Lanham Act §§ 1, 2- 4, 9, 12-17, 22 (15 U.S.C. §§ 1051-1054, 1059, 1062-1067, 1072).
Restatement (Third) of Unfair Competition § 17 Optional : Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure §§ 1301, 1301.01, 1301.01(a), 1301.01(a)(i), 1301.01(a)(ii), 1301.01(b), 1301.01(b)(i), 1301.01(b)(ii), 1301.01(b)(iii), 1301.02, 1301.02(a), 1301.02(c), 1301.02(d)

Loss of Trademark Rights (Ch. 5): 2 units

Lanham Act §§ 10, 45 (15 U.S.C. §§ 1060, 1127) Optional: Review Problems, CB 383-390

Infringement (Ch 6):  4 units

Likelihood of Confusion (2 units)

Lanham Act §§ 32, 33 (15 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 115)
Restatement (Third) of Unfair Competition §§ 20-23

Contributory Infringement, Defenses (2 units)

Lanham Act §§ 15, 33 (15 U.S.C. §§ 1065, 1115)

False Designation of Origin (Ch. 7): 2 units

Lanham Act § 43(a) (15 U.S.C. § 1125(a))

Dilution (Ch. 10): 3 units

Lanham Act § 43(c), (15 U.S.C. § 1124(c), 15 U.S.C. § 1127)

Trademarks and the Internet (Ch. 11, mostly): 4 units

Lanham Act § 43(d) (15 U.S.C. §§ 1125(c), 1125(d))
Restatement (Third) of Unfair Competition § 25
AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA)

Trademarks as Speech (Ch. 12, mostly): 2 units

International Aspects of Trademark Protection (Ch. 14): 2 units

Review/Catch up: 1 unit

       This might be a good time to read or re-read CB 1-30

Course Information

Attendance. I used to be a total softie about attendance. People took unfair advantage. So now I overcompensate and play hardball. I will take attendance as and when it suits me, which tends to mean just about every class. If you miss a class I don't want to hear your excuses unless it involves a hospital (for you or yours) or worse. Take it up with the Dean of Students (and be aware I plan to ignore "for your consideration" or indeed anything less than "please excuse" notes from the Dean of Students).

You get three free passes -- miss more than three classes without an excuse that the Dean of Students office directs me to accept and I reserve the right hold it against you in some way relating to class participation credit. The more classes you miss, the more I may hold it against you. If you are consistently absent I will contact the Dean of Students office and ask them to drop you from the class.  But so long as you skip three or fewer classes without excuses I guarantee you will not suffer any deduction from class participation credit, so there's no need to even bother with excuses for the rare and inevitable absence.

Please make every effort to come on time as late arrivals confuse me and disrupt the class.  If you are habitually late we will need to have a frank, private, discussion about your professionalism.

Taping. No classes may be taped without my specific permission, which will not be given for reasons other than verified medical emergencies, or to students with particular disabilities.  Tapes make me nervous.


Disabilities. This class, like most law school classes, is heavily oriented toward reading a large quantity of difficult material in a small amount of time. If you are aware that you have a learning disability, or if you just think that it takes you twice as long to learn things by reading as other people, please talk to the Disabilities Issues Coordinator, Assistant Dean Marnie Lennon who can tell you about resources here that you may find valuable. All discussions will be totally confidential. Any student who believe (s)he suffers from acute "stage fright" and underperforms in public should see me early in the semester to see if we can work out special arrangements in which you e-mail some answers rather than giving them orally.

Last modified: Jan 6, 2004