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Full-Text Articles in Law

Trademark Law, Functional Design Features, And The Trouble With Traffix, Harold R. Weinberg Jan 2001

Trademark Law, Functional Design Features, And The Trouble With Traffix, Harold R. Weinberg

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

This article concerns trademark law's functionality doctrine and the Supreme Court's troublesome opinion concerning it in TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc. The doctrine provides that if a producer's useful or aesthetic design feature is "functional," then competitors can lawfully copy it even if the feature otherwise would be protected against copying by trademark principles. In order to introduce the functionality doctrine and the trouble with TrafFix, it is helpful to describe the nature of design features, the simultaneous roles they may play as source-identifying trade symbols and as useful or aesthetic product elements, and trademark ...


Patent Law In The Age Of The Invisible Supreme Court, Mark D. Janis Jan 2001

Patent Law In The Age Of The Invisible Supreme Court, Mark D. Janis

Articles by Maurer Faculty

This article examines the permanence of the U.S. Supreme Court's retreat to the peripheries of patent law after the creation of the Federal Circuit, and explores the roles that the Supreme Court might imagine for itself in contemporary patent law. For discussion purposes, the article describes two hypothetical models for Supreme Court decisionmaking in patent cases: an aggressive interventionist model and an extreme non-interventionist model. After considering the shortcomings of both models, the article proposes an intermediate, managerial model. The managerial model rejects the proposition that the Court should intervene in patent cases to correct perceived substantive errors ...