Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 46

Full-Text Articles in Law

Digital Market Perfection, Rory Van Loo Jan 2019

Digital Market Perfection, Rory Van Loo

Michigan Law Review

Google’s, Apple’s, and other companies’ automated assistants are increasingly serving as personal shoppers. These digital intermediaries will save us time by purchasing grocery items, transferring bank accounts, and subscribing to cable. The literature has only begun to hint at the paradigm shift needed to navigate the legal risks and rewards of this coming era of automated commerce. This Article begins to fill that gap by surveying legal battles related to contract exit, data access, and deception that will determine the extent to which automated assistants are able to help consumers to search and switch, potentially bringing tremendous societal benefits. Whereas …


A Post-Spokeo Taxonomy Of Intangible Harms, Jackson Erpenbach Jan 2019

A Post-Spokeo Taxonomy Of Intangible Harms, Jackson Erpenbach

Michigan Law Review

Article III standing is a central requirement in federal litigation. The Supreme Court’s Spokeo decision marked a significant development in the doctrine, dividing the concrete injury-in-fact requirement into two subsets: tangible and intangible harms. While tangible harms are easily cognizable, plaintiffs alleging intangible harms can face a perilous path to court. This raises particular concern for the system of federal consumer protection laws where enforcement relies on consumers vindicating their own rights by filing suit when companies violate federal law. These plaintiffs must often allege intangible harms arising out of their statutorily guaranteed rights. This Note demonstrates that Spokeo’s …


Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder Jan 2018

Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder

Michigan Law Review

In today’s economy, consumers demand experiences. From Star Wars to Harry Potter, fans do not just want to watch or read about their favorite characters— they want to be them. They don the robes of Gryffindor, flick their wands, and drink the butterbeer. The owners of fantasy properties understand this, expanding their offerings from light sabers to the Galaxy’s Edge®, the new Disney Star Wars immersive theme park opening in 2019.Since Star Wars, Congress and the courts have abetted what is now a $262 billion-a-year industry in merchandising, fashioning “merchandising rights” appurtenant to copyrights and trademarks that give fantasy owners …


Standing In The Way Of The Ftaia: Exceptional Applications Of Illinois Brick, Jennifer Fischell Oct 2015

Standing In The Way Of The Ftaia: Exceptional Applications Of Illinois Brick, Jennifer Fischell

Michigan Law Review

In 1982, Congress enacted the Foreign Antitrust Trade Improvements Act (FTAIA) to resolve uncertainties about the international reach and effect of U.S. antitrust laws. Unfortunately, the FTAIA has provided more questions than answers. It has been ten years since the Supreme Court most recently interpreted the FTAIA, and crucial questions and circuit splits abound. One of these questions is how to understand the convergence of the direct purchaser rule (frequently referred to as the Illinois Brick doctrine) and the FTAIA. Under the direct purchaser rule, only those who purchase directly from antitrust violators are typically permitted to sue under section …


Regulating Electricity-Market Manipulation: A Proposal For A New Regulatory Regime To Proscribe All Forms Of Manipulation, Matthew Evans Feb 2015

Regulating Electricity-Market Manipulation: A Proposal For A New Regulatory Regime To Proscribe All Forms Of Manipulation, Matthew Evans

Michigan Law Review

Congress broadly authorized the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) to protect consumers of electricity from all forms of manipulation in the electricity markets, but the regulations that FERC passed are not nearly so expansive. As written, FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule covers only instances of manipulation involving fraud. This narrow scope is problematic, however, because electricity markets can also be manipulated by nonfraudulent activity. Thus, in order to reach all forms of manipulation, FERC is forced to interpret and apply its Anti-Manipulation Rule in ways that strain the plain language and accepted understanding of the rule and therefore constitute an improper extension …


The Audience In Intellectual Property Infringement, Jeanne C. Fromer, Mark A. Lemley May 2014

The Audience In Intellectual Property Infringement, Jeanne C. Fromer, Mark A. Lemley

Michigan Law Review

Every intellectual property (“IP”) right has its own definition of infringement. In this Article, we suggest that this diversity of legal rules is largely traceable to differences in the audience in IP cases. Patent, trademark, copyright, and design patent each focus on a different person as the fulcrum for evaluating IP infringement. That patent law, for example, focuses on an expert audience while trademark looks to a consumer audience explains many of the differences in how patent and trademark cases are decided. Expert audiences are likely to evaluate infringement based on the technical similarity between the plaintiff’s and defendant’s works. …


A Disclosure-Focused Approach To Compelled Commercial Speech, Andrew C. Budzinski May 2014

A Disclosure-Focused Approach To Compelled Commercial Speech, Andrew C. Budzinski

Michigan Law Review

In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration passed a rule revising compelled disclaimers on tobacco products pursuant to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The rule required that tobacco warnings include something new: all tobacco products now had to bear one of nine graphic images to accompany the text. Tobacco companies filed suit contesting the constitutionality of the rule, arguing that the government violated their right to free commercial speech by compelling disclosure of the graphic content. Yet First Amendment jurisprudence lacks a doctrinally consistent standard for reviewing such compelled disclosures. Courts’ analyses typically depend on whether the …


Rationality's Reach, Adam B. Badawi Apr 2014

Rationality's Reach, Adam B. Badawi

Michigan Law Review

Economic analysis and the rational actor model have dominated contracts scholarship for at least a generation. In the past fifteen years or so, however, a group of behaviorists has challenged the ability of the rational choice model to account for consumer behavior. These behaviorists are not trying to dismantle the entire enterprise. They generally accept the fundamentals of economic analysis but argue that the rational actor model can be improved by incorporating evidence of decisionmaking flaws that people exhibit. Oren Bar-Gill has been one of the foremost and influential proponents of a behaviorist take on contracts, and his recent book, …


Comparative Effectiveness Research As Choice Architecture: The Behavioral Law And Economics Solution To The Health Care Cost Crisis, Russell Korobkin Feb 2014

Comparative Effectiveness Research As Choice Architecture: The Behavioral Law And Economics Solution To The Health Care Cost Crisis, Russell Korobkin

Michigan Law Review

With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) set to dramatically increase access to medical care, the problem of rising costs will move center stage in health law and policy discussions. “Consumer directed health care” proposals, which provide patients with financial incentives to equate marginal costs and benefits of care at the point of treatment, demand more decisionmaking ability from consumers than is plausible due to bounded rationality. Proposals that seek to change the incentives of health care providers threaten to create conflicts of interest between doctors and patients. New approaches are desperately needed. This Article proposes a government-facilitated …


The Case For Rebalancing Antitrust And Regulation, Howard A. Shelanski Jan 2011

The Case For Rebalancing Antitrust And Regulation, Howard A. Shelanski

Michigan Law Review

The continued growth of forensic DNA databases has brought about greater interest in a search method known as "familial" or "kinship" matching. Whereas a typical database search seeks the source of a crime-scene stain by making an exact match between a known person and the DNA sample, familial searching instead looks for partial matches in order to find potential relatives of the source. The use of a familial DNA search to identify the alleged "Grim Sleeper" killer in California brought national attention to the method, which has many proponents. In contrast, this Article argues against the practice of familial searching …


Owning Mark(Et)S, Mark A. Lemley, Mark P. Mckenna Nov 2010

Owning Mark(Et)S, Mark A. Lemley, Mark P. Mckenna

Michigan Law Review

Trademark owners regularly rely on claims that the defendant is "free riding" on their mark by making money using that mark, money the trademark owners say should belong to them. We analyze those free-riding claims and find them wanting. The empirical data shows that defendants in unrelated markets can benefit from using a well-known mark, but that neither mark owners nor consumers suffer any injury from that use. A legal claim that a defendant is unjustly benefiting by using a plaintiff's mark is hollow unless it is accompanied by a theory of why that benefit should rightly belong to the …


The Debt Dilemma, Katherine Porter Jan 2008

The Debt Dilemma, Katherine Porter

Michigan Law Review

Part I describes the nature of credit card spending and explores the usefulness of Mann's comparative approach to studying credit cards. Part II evaluates Mann's findings on the overall relationships between individual credit card transactions and aggregate levels of spending, borrowing, and bankruptcy. It also briefly analyzes the relationship between his findings and policy recommendations. Part III explores data on families who refrain from credit card use and struggle with serious financial distress. Part IV revisits Mann's policy recommendations in light of this new data. I conclude that implementing credit card reform would offer families only partial, albeit valuable, protection …


Brand New Deal: The Branding Effect Of Corporate Deal Structures, Victor Fleischer Jun 2006

Brand New Deal: The Branding Effect Of Corporate Deal Structures, Victor Fleischer

Michigan Law Review

Consider the unusual legal structures of the following four deals: When Google went public in 2004, it used an Internet auction to sell its stock to shareholders. When Ben & Jerry's went public in 1984, it sold its stock only to Vermont residents. Steve Jobs's contract with Apple entitles him to an annual cash salary of exactly one dollar. Stanley Works, a Connecticut toolmaker, considered reincorporating in Bermuda to reduce its tax liability. Under public pressure, it changed its mind and remains legally incorporated in Connecticut. What do these deals have in common? In each case, the legal infrastructure of …


One-Sided Contracts In Competitive Consumer Markets, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Richard A. Posner Mar 2006

One-Sided Contracts In Competitive Consumer Markets, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Richard A. Posner

Michigan Law Review

The usual assumption in economic analysis of law is that in a competitive market without informational asymmetries, the terms of contracts between sellers and buyers will be optimal-that is, that any deviation from these terms would impose expected costs on one party that exceed benefits to the other. But could there be cases in which "one-sided" contracts containing terms that impose a greater expected cost on one side than benefit on the other-would be found in competitive markets even in the absence of fraud, prohibitive information costs, or other market imperfections? That is the possibility we explore in this Article.


Online Boilerplate: Would Mandatory Website Disclosure Of E-Standard Terms Backfire?, Robert A. Hillman Mar 2006

Online Boilerplate: Would Mandatory Website Disclosure Of E-Standard Terms Backfire?, Robert A. Hillman

Michigan Law Review

A law backfires when it produces results opposite from those its drafters intended. Lots of laws may have backfired. For example, people opposed to hate crimes legislation think that the laws "inflame prejudice rather than eradicate it." The Endangered Species Act, according to some analysts, has helped destroy rather than preserve the creatures listed by the Act. Even consumer protection laws, some believe, increase prices and confuse consumers instead of protecting them. This Article analyzes whether mandatory website disclosure of standard terms, advocated by some as a potential solution to market failures when consumers contract over the Internet, is another …


The Boilerplate Puzzle, Douglas G. Baird Mar 2006

The Boilerplate Puzzle, Douglas G. Baird

Michigan Law Review

The warranty that comes with your laptop computer is one of its many product attributes. The laptop has a screen of a particular size. Its microprocessors work at a particular speed, and the battery lasts a given amount of time between recharging. The hard drive has a certain capacity and mean time to failure. There is an instruction manual, online technical support (or lack thereof), and software. Then there are the warranties that the seller makes (or does not make) that are also part of the bundle. Just as I know the size of the screen, but nothing about the …


The Hidden Roles Of Boilerplate And Standard-Form Contracts: Strategic Imposition Of Transaction Costs, Segmentation Of Consumers, And Anticompetitive Effects, David Gilo, Ariel Porat Mar 2006

The Hidden Roles Of Boilerplate And Standard-Form Contracts: Strategic Imposition Of Transaction Costs, Segmentation Of Consumers, And Anticompetitive Effects, David Gilo, Ariel Porat

Michigan Law Review

Standard-form contracts offered to consumers contain numerous terms and clauses, most of which are ancillary to the main terms of the transaction. We call these ancillary terms "boilerplate provisions." Since most consumers do not read boilerplate provisions or, if they do, find them hard to understand, courts are suspicious of boilerplate provisions and sometimes find them unenforceable under the doctrine of unconscionability. At times, courts conclude that harsh terms have not been accepted by consumers in the first place and therefore are not included in the contract, and on other occasions courts interpret boilerplate provisions in favor of consumers, applying …


Contra Proferentem: The Allure Of Ambiguous Boilerplate, Michelle E. Boardman Mar 2006

Contra Proferentem: The Allure Of Ambiguous Boilerplate, Michelle E. Boardman

Michigan Law Review

Bad boilerplate can shake one' s faith in evolution; not only does it not die away, it multiplies. The puzzle is why. Much of boilerplate is ambiguous or incomprehensible. This alienates consumers and is i ncreasingly punished by courts construing the language against the drafter. There must, therefore, be some hidden allure to ambiguous boilerplate. The popular theory is trickery: drafters lure consumers in with promising language that comes to nothing in court. But this trick would require consumers to do three things they do not do-read the language, understand it, and take comfort in it. There is a hidden …


Opting Out Of Liability: The Forthcoming, Near-Total Demise Of The Modern Class Action, Myriam Gilles Dec 2005

Opting Out Of Liability: The Forthcoming, Near-Total Demise Of The Modern Class Action, Myriam Gilles

Michigan Law Review

It is reasonable to expect that courts will demonstrate great solicitude for the recent innovation that I term "collective action waivers" - i.e., contractual provisions contained within arbitration agreements whereby consumers and others waive their rights to participate in any form of collective litigation or class arbitration. The history of mass tort class actions and the hegemonic expansion of pro-arbitration jurisprudence compel this conclusion. And, as the now-dominant economic model of contract law has moved the focus of courts from the value of consent to the value of efficiency, arbitration agreements found in all manner of shrink-wrap, scroll-text and bill-stuffer …


Search And Persuasion In Trademark Law, Barton Beebe Aug 2005

Search And Persuasion In Trademark Law, Barton Beebe

Michigan Law Review

The consumer, we are led to believe, is the measure of all things in trademark law. Trademarks exist only to the extent that consumers perceive them as designations of source. Infringement occurs only to the extent that consumers perceive one trademark as referring to the source of another. The most "intellectual" of the intellectual properties, trademarks are a property purely of consumers' minds. The simple idealist ontology underlying trademark law is largely responsible for the law's characteristic instability. Since 1992, the Supreme Court has considered - and in some cases, reconsidered - seven trademark cases. The Court's copyright cases garner …


Chicago Hope Meets The Chicago School, Gail B. Agrawal May 1998

Chicago Hope Meets The Chicago School, Gail B. Agrawal

Michigan Law Review

Twenty-five years after the enactment of the Federal Health Maintenance Organization Act and nearly five years after the failure of proposed federal health care reform, managed care has come to dominate the medical marketplace. As a result, the relationships among patients, payers, and physicians have changed fundamentally and dramatically. In this market-driven environment, health care - how much it costs, who receives treatment, and who pays for it - may have surpassed the weather as a topic of everyday conversation at dinner tables and water coolers across the country. In the popular press, reports concerning managed care, usually derogatory, are …


Bankruptcy Policymaking In An Imperfect World, Elizabeth Warren Nov 1993

Bankruptcy Policymaking In An Imperfect World, Elizabeth Warren

Michigan Law Review

This essay is about bankruptcy policy. It attempts to articulate a comprehensive statement about the various and competing goals that underlie the bankruptcy system. The essay offers both a positive observation, drawn from the Code and its operation, and a normative evaluation, designed to outline the difficult value judgments that comprise the bankruptcy system. It also serves warning: before commentators propose any sweeping changes or policymakers take seriously any suggestions to scrap the system, they must consider the impact of such proposals on a number of competing normative goals.


Rescuing The Revolution: The Revived Case For Enterprise Liability, Steven P. Croley, Jon D. Hanson Feb 1993

Rescuing The Revolution: The Revived Case For Enterprise Liability, Steven P. Croley, Jon D. Hanson

Michigan Law Review

The article proceeds as follows. Part I defines important terms and introduces the two-by-four Products Liability Matrix by explaining the eight possible positions that might be taken with respect to the mutability and liability-standard dimensions of products liability. Part II provides a backdrop for the current products liability debate, first by setting out a capsule history of the evolution of the modem products liability regime, and then by explaining the arguments offered by the "first generation" of products liability scholars to justify expanded manufacturer liability. Part II also illustrates the utility of the Products Liability Matrix by locating many of …


Workable Antitrust Policy, Frank H. Easterbrook Aug 1986

Workable Antitrust Policy, Frank H. Easterbrook

Michigan Law Review

One of the schools of thought in the economics of antitrust was called "workable competition." The adherents to this school believed that markets were prone to cartelization and that concentration was death on competition, but that occasionally competition might prove "workable." These scholars were suspicious of almost every industrial practice they saw. One of the manifestations of their work came to be known as the "structure-conduct-performance paradigm." The thesis was that you could tell whether competition was feasible from the structure of the market. If the top four firms had fifty percent or so of the sales, we should abandon …


Rhetoric And Skepticism In Antitrust Argument, Herbert Hovenkamp Aug 1986

Rhetoric And Skepticism In Antitrust Argument, Herbert Hovenkamp

Michigan Law Review

In his essay on Workable Antitrust Policy Judge Easterbrook professes an extraordinary skepticism about economic models in general, and particularly about the ability of courts to use economic models to distinguish the competitive from the anticompetitive. But a profession of skepticism is itself a very powerful rhetorical device; it creates a perception of tough-mindedness, of refusal to yield real-world observations to analytic models or other abstractions, of extreme reluctance to accept any proposition that has not been clearly proven. Further, it is always very easy to be a skeptic, because every position ever taken except perhaps for a few tautologies …


Consumer Beware Chicago, Eleanor M. Fox Aug 1986

Consumer Beware Chicago, Eleanor M. Fox

Michigan Law Review

Professor Hovenkamp's article, Antitrust Policy After Chicago, reveals an important truth. Chicago School economics does not provide a superior roadmap to efficiency. I would take the critique one step further and assert: The main gap between Chicago and its critics is not even the design of the roadmap to efficiency. The main gap is social and political philosophy.


Revolt Against Regulation: The Rise And Pause Of The Consumer Movement, Michigan Law Review Feb 1984

Revolt Against Regulation: The Rise And Pause Of The Consumer Movement, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Revolt Against Regulation: The Rise and Pause of the Consumer Movement by Michael Pertschuk


Personal, Living Or Family Matters And The Value Added Tax, L. Hart Wright Dec 1983

Personal, Living Or Family Matters And The Value Added Tax, L. Hart Wright

Michigan Law Review

No tax is ever implemented in a manner which is perfectly responsive to the logical implications of its basic purpose. VAT is no exception.

Those who foster this tax basically intend that ultimate tax incidence be suffered only by individuals and then only in the degree to which they dip into society's pool of consumer-type goods and services. But their implementing legislation is always designed to fall short of reaching all consumer-type goods and services. Ullman's proposed Tax Restructuring Act of 1979 would have been no exception. Under it, a substantial proportion of all such benefits actually would have been …


Secondary Consumer Picketing, Statutory Interpretation And The First Amendment, Michigan Law Review Aug 1983

Secondary Consumer Picketing, Statutory Interpretation And The First Amendment, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This Note examines both the statutory and constitutional implications of Safeco and Tree Fruits. It suggests that the confusion surrounding existing Board and court interpretations of section 8(b)(4)(ii)(B) stems from the Supreme Court's failure to assess realistically the impact that consumer picketing has on secondary businesses, as well as the Court's refusal to examine the objectives of unions that resort to secondary picketing.


How Consumer Remedies Fail, Bryant G. Garth Mar 1983

How Consumer Remedies Fail, Bryant G. Garth

Michigan Law Review

A Review of No Access to Law: Alternatives to the American Judicial System edited by Laura Nader