Trademark Law and Theory
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Trademark Law and Theory

A Handbook of Contemporary Research

  • Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Graeme B. Dinwoodie and Mark D. Janis

This important research Handbook brings together a set of illuminating works by the field’s leading scholars to comprise one of the broadest and most far-reaching overviews of trademark law issues. Organized around three areas of inquiry, the book starts by offering a rich variety of methodological perspectives on trademark law. Reflecting the multifaceted nature of contemporary trademarks, contributors have drawn from law and economics, political science, semiotic theory, and history. The Handbook goes on to survey trademark law’s international landscape, addressing indigenous cultural property, human rights issues, the free movement of goods, and the role of substantive harmonization. It concludes with a series of forward-looking perspectives, which focus on trademark law’s intersection with the laws of advertising and free speech, copyright law, cyberspace regulation, and design protection.
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Chapter 14: Tolerating confusion about confusion: trademark policies and fair use

Graeme W. Austin

Extract

13 Protecting the common: delineating a public domain in trade mark law Jennifer Davis I. Introduction From the early twentieth century, the House of David (an unincorporated religious and business association) maintained a baseball team, which toured the United States, “playing several hundred games a year,” and earning a substantial income. According to Judge Woolsey,1 the team played “a sound game of baseball.” However, the most “notable characteristic” of the team was that its players wore beards and had “House of David” printed across their uniforms. In 1929, an individual named Murphy also formed a baseball team whose players wore beards and whose uniforms carried the words, “House of David.” It was Murphy’s strategy to book games for his teams in towns a few days before those dates set for the original House of David, and in so doing according to Judge Woolsey, “diluted the neighborhood’s interest in seeing a bearded baseball team play ball.” Furthermore, the House of David claimed that Murphy’s team played an “inferior game of baseball,” so injuring the House of David’s reputation and, as a result, its gate receipts. The House of David sued for unfair competition.2 It was successful. The use of the plaintiff’s name and appearance together with Murphy’s stratagem of booking in his team ahead of the plaintiff established mens rea. However the court made a particular point about the beards. “From time immemorial,” the judge stated, The wearing of beards has been in the public domain. In respect of matters...

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