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Copyright law

2017

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Fashion's Function In Intellectual Property Law, Christopher Buccafusco, Jeanne C. Fromer Jan 2017

Fashion's Function In Intellectual Property Law, Christopher Buccafusco, Jeanne C. Fromer

Articles

Clothing designs can be beautiful. But they are also functional. Fashion’s dual nature sits uneasily in intellectual property law, and its treatment by copyright, trademark, and design patent laws has often been perplexing. Much of this difficulty arises from an unclear understanding of the nature of functionality in fashion design. This Article proposes a robust account of fashion’s function. It argues that aspects of garment designs are functional not only when they affect the physical or technological performance of a garment but also when they affect the perception of the wearer’s body. Generally, clothes are not designed or chosen simply …


Functionality Screens, Christopher Buccafusco, Mark A. Lemley Jan 2017

Functionality Screens, Christopher Buccafusco, Mark A. Lemley

Articles

Among intellectual property (IP) doctrines, only utility patents should protect function. Utility patents offer strong rights that place constraints on competition, but they only arise when inventors can demonstrate substantial novelty after a costly examination. Copyrights, trademarks, and design patents are much easier to obtain than utility patents, and they often last much longer. Accordingly, to prevent claimants from obtaining “backdoor patents,” the other IP doctrines must screen out functionality. As yet, however, courts and scholars have paid little systematic attention to the ways in which these functionality screens operate across and within IP law.We have four tasks in this …


Testing Tarnishment In Trademark And Copyright Law: The Effect Of Pornographic Versions Of Protected Marks And Works Of Pornographic Versions Of Protected Marks And Work, Christopher Buccafusco, Paul J. Heald, Wen Bu Jan 2017

Testing Tarnishment In Trademark And Copyright Law: The Effect Of Pornographic Versions Of Protected Marks And Works Of Pornographic Versions Of Protected Marks And Work, Christopher Buccafusco, Paul J. Heald, Wen Bu

Articles

Federal and state law both provide a cause of action against inappropriate and unauthorized uses that ‘tarnish’ a trademark. Copyright owners also articulate fears of ‘tarnishing’ uses of their works in their arguments against fair use and for copyright term extension. The validity of these concerns rests on an empirically testable hypothesis about how consumers respond to inappropriate unauthorized uses of works. In particular, the tarnishment hypothesis assumes that consumers who are exposed to inappropriate uses of a work will find the tarnished work less valuable afterwards. This Article presents two experimental tests of the tarnishment hypothesis, focusing on unauthorized …