Friday, May 31, 2013

Trademark Law - What's "the law" and what's "right?"

If you're signed up for Trademark Law in the fall, and you're looking for some interesting advanced reading, check out this news story from the New York Times. In a nutshell, New York's Department of Economic Development owns the mark I ♥ NY, and it polices its mark very actively. As the result, a New York coffee shop has been forced to jettison its shirts, onesies, mugs, and other logoed items which have the mark I [coffee mug symbol] NY. (See the article for both marks.) Reading the article, it seems a bit like a David and Goliath story with David coming out on the losing end of things this go 'round.

But is policing one's mark (i.e., sending cease-and-desist letters to perceived infringers) a statutory obligation? And regardless, how much "policing" is necessary or required? Check out the following resources to determine the answer: