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295T Brands (3)

Seminar - 3 hours.  The rise of brands marks a fundamental shift in the law and business practice of trademarks. Where trademarks have long protected marks that signal the source of a good or service to consumers, today customers value logos such as the Nike Swoosh in and of themselves. In the new “experience economy” corporations sell identity and community, authenticity and auras, not products. Starbucks is “everything but the coffee;” it is an experience, an identity, and a place to connect with others. Furthermore, branding is ubiquitous. Every charity, organization, and university seeks to brand itself, that is, to cultivate and trade off its distinct identity. This seminar explores the challenges brands pose to traditional trademark law. Traditional trademark protects consumers against fraud and confusion. Brand creation, management, and licensing involve distinct concerns, less focused on consumer confusion and more akin to copyright law’s concerns for story-telling and expressive control. This seminar takes a close, interdisciplinary look at branding, preparing students to understand modern branding strategies and the challenges such strategies may pose to traditional trademark law and policy. Topics covered include merchandising rights, unfair competition, and counterfeits.

Graduation requirements: May meet Advanced Writing Requirement with the instructor's permission.
Final Assessment: Paper


This course was offered:

  • Spring 2019
    • Mario Biagioli