Forum Replies Created
July 9, 2021 at 12:25 am in reply to: Version 8 (2021) of Trademark Law: An Open-Source Casebook now posted #1500
As always, Barton, and as a long-time and appreciative user of each and every edition of this project: thank you.
The increasing length of the book is a challenge, as you note, for those of us who teach a basic one-semester trademark course.
I wonder whether (and/or how recently) you’ve considered distributing the contents via a platform that unbundles the principal cases – perhaps in clusters keyed to the principal sections or subsections of the book. Teachers could drag and drop the clusters into a “book” that they would actually use [in my case, I’d simply make each cluster available separately on my course website, integrated into the syllabus]. Students could access combined, customized bundle electronically or get a print-on-demand copy. For anyone who wants the whole, unedited book, that would be available, too.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with quick-and-dirty versions of the above, by playing around with the MS Word files. I like to move a lot of the “goodwill” content (naked licensing, abandonment, assignments in gross) to the front and teach that stuff first. But pulling one chunk out of the back of the book like that is really disruptive from a word processing standpoint.
What I’ve suggested undoubtedly requires time and maybe other resources that you don’t have or that you don’t want to commit. And maybe I’m unique in thinking that “Napsterizing” the book, figuratively speaking, would both add value and solve at least some of the length problem.
Reactions from everyone are welcome, of course.
MikeJuly 13, 2020 at 6:23 pm in reply to: Trademark Law: An Open-Source Casebook – Version 7 (2020) now posted #1331
Thank you, Barton!
Best – Mike
Bob, I’ve always wondered about the statement in the opinion about “malted milk ice cream.” Did the court accurately describe what Borden had sold? From searching for images of Borden’s marks in its early days, I’ve found lots of examples of packaging for malted milk sold by Borden (under the Borden name, the Eagle name, and “Thompson,” I think), along with condensed milk and evaporated milk. But I’ve never come across anything packaged or advertised in the relevant era as “malted milk ice cream.” In addition, corporate histories of Borden generally recite the fact that Borden went into ice cream later, in the late 1920s, when it acquired The J.M. Horton Ice Cream Company and the Reid Ice Cream Corporation. Best, Mike
Thanks for the update and congrats on moving into the LawCarta environment. Can you say a little bit more about the LC version? I’m interested in the expected cost of the print copy to students and also in any added time or expense on your end in putting the content into the LC system.
I’m happy to chat offline about the latter if you prefer.
I hope that all is well with you and with everyone else in the BB TM fanclub.
MikeJuly 29, 2016 at 3:40 pm in reply to: Version 3.0 of the Trademark Law casebook now posted #644
I have a formatting question for you (though others are welcome to chime in):
This Fall will be my third time using the book, and the students and I generally love it. Each year, however, I re-mix more and more of it (the biggest change last year was moving the assignments in gross/no naked licensing material to the front of the syllabus; the biggest change this year is clustering “[relatively] novel theories of liability and [relatively] novel defenses” as a group at the end of syllabus). My Fall 16 syllabus is now up at http://madisonian.net/home/?page_id=2272
Using the Word files to do this makes re-ordering the text feasible but awkward.
So, I wonder whether the text of the whole book could be rendered and made available in a more “modular” format, so that dragging and dropping [cases] [sections] [parts] of the text would allow an adopter to create a custom “book.” The analogy I have in mind is OOP in computer programming. Each unit of text could be moved around as the adopter wished; when the sequence of units was “locked in” to the adopter’s satisfaction, the product could be rendered as a single “book” (or series of Parts), in Word, and/or PDF, and/or whatever.
I may take this on myself, if the idea doesn’t appeal to you or is beyond the scope of the time that you have available. In that event, I’m curious to know how you produce the book in the first place: Do you manage all of the text in MS Word, or do you use writing software (and if so, which product)? I’ll ask our folks locally if they have ideas for how to manage this.
MikeJanuary 13, 2016 at 2:43 am in reply to: Updates to the Website: In re Tam, Abridged 3-Credit Version, Assigned Exercises #574
I think that I previously let you know about the writing exercises/assignments that I’ve distributed in my Trademark Law course over the years. Three per semester, times 8 semesters (including Fall 2015), are available via my home page (http://madisonian.net/home); in the search box in the upper right corner, search “trademark memo assignments.”
Barton, if you run the search above you’ll collect a URL for the page of memo assignments for each of my versions of the class since 2008. I couldn’t see a way for me to post the links to the “Assigned Exercises” page, so feel free to do that yourself. In addition to the assignments that are still up on my site, I have about four years’ worth of assignments (another 12 or so in total) that pre-date production of my current site. I’d be happy to share those with anyone who asks.
As you all know I don’t give exams; I have students write short papers during the semester. All of my assignments are distributed on my course website(s), which are public. You can see all of the assignments (3 per semester) going back to the Fall 2009 version of the course at http://madisonian.net/home/?page_id=1260 (click on the “Trademark Law” link for a given semester, and that will open up a menu of links that includes a “Read the Memo Assignments” link). I have about 3 years’ worth of assignments that pre-date the 2009 course and would be happy to share those with anyone who would like to see them.
The page above also links to my Copyright Law course pages, and the Copyright Law links will take you to my Copyright Law assignments going back to 2010. I have another 5 years’ worth of pre-2010 copyright assignments that I would be happy to share.
Can you post your syllabus here, or circulate it? I’m also teaching a 3-credit TM course with the book. My syllabus is online at http://madisonian.net/home/?page_id=1625
Like you, I can’t cover any Right of Publicity or cybersquatting stuff. There is also no time for remedies.
I didn’t condense any of the materials, however; I just made the whole thing available to students and assigned pages, as I would with a hard-copy book.
There’s a club? Are there meetings? I hate meetings.
But seriously. Thanks, Barton, for reminding me of the protocol and apologies for the confusion (and for the weird mis-spellings. Obviously I was more tired than I thought!). I appreciate your retrieving the McCarthy reference, though the text prompts me to wonder what “a Goodyear” was, if in fact that’s the question implied by its former generic status. (I can, and will, in due course, look it up; presumably, McCarthy is where the rubber meets the road.) Meanwhile, I continue to get a lot of mileage with my students from the fact that “Heroin” was once a mark.
I agree with Barton’s sense, reinforced by Kevin, that the directional arrows surrounding generic marks (born generic marks possibly becoming descriptive, or distinctive marks becoming generic) call for some nuanced weighing of survey evidence, among other things. But I also think that amid too much nuance, we lose the distinctiveness forest for the Abercrombie trees (or, to borrow my favorite metaphor of the moment, we lose the distinctiveness melody for the Abercrombie notes).
For several years, I have started students off not with a case but with a real registration problem, partly to show them what the nuts and bolts of trademark practice often look like but mostly — as with the water bottles (something that I do later, with product configuration marks) — to get them thinking about how trademark lawyers think. I use the record from efforts to register a mark in “Pantherade” for sports drinks. It’s a real file. And it’s fun because one of the opposers was/is my own school, the University of Pittsburgh. The story (which I eventually share with the students, because it’s not clear from the file itself) gets better: Pantherade is one of a family of proposed registrations. There’s also Buckeyeade. Wolverineade. Badgerade. Etc., etc. (there are several dozen in all). Sports fans, even casual sports fans, get the point. And the applicant is … Franco Harris, d/b/a Super Bakery, a Pittsburgh-based contract food producer. THE Franco Harris, Penn State and Pittsburgh Steelers superstar, from whom I learned the tale of the Pantherade mark at a cocktail party about 4 years ago.
Anyway, getting students to talk through Pitt’s arguments and Franco’s arguments is a good way to get them “in the mood,” as it were, and I always find it fun to tie IP questions to Pittsburgh-area culture, particularly because in Pittsburgh, people generally assume that IP means patents.
In addition, for the first day I will assign the first (background) chapter of Mary LaFrance’s Understanding Trademark Law *and* the case that Graeme and Mark use in their book: Elvis Presley Enterprises v Capece. That’s also a fun case, and it gets students thinking about the issues that came up in Pantherade but of course in a different context.
I’ve just posted my syllabus online, by the way. You can see it at http://madisonian.net/home/?page_id=1625. It’s a 3-credit course that meets twice a week.