You are here

  • This Subject Area Index lists all CALI lessons covering Intellectual Property.

Intellectual Property

Copyrights in Sound Recordings

This lesson introduces the user to the copyright issues that pertain to sound recordings. The lesson illustrates the difference between sound recordings and other works, the nature of the exclusive rights granted to the owners of sound recording copyrights, some of the problems resulting from the interaction of sound recording copyrights with other copyrights, and key limitations on sound recording copyrights.

Distinctiveness

This lesson provides an analysis of the levels of distinctiveness and the requirements for the determination of whether a term chosen as a mark is inherently distinctive, must yet acquire distinctiveness, or is incapable of trademark protection regardless of distinctiveness. The lesson is intended as a review of material that is covered early in a Trademark Law course.

The Distribution Right

This lesson provides an introduction to one of the Copyright Act's section 106 exclusive rights, the distribution right. As you will glean from the lesson, the distribution right covers the copyright owner's exclusive right to distribute copies or phonorecords of copyrighted works by means of sale, transfer of ownership, or by rental. In addition, the distribution right creates a statutory right called the right of first publication.

European Union Trademark Basics

This lesson gives an overview of the basics of the European Union's trademark system. The emphasis is on issues of registration and infringement. It often uses a comparative approach, with the U.S. system as a foil. It takes users through both the national systems (via the Trademark Harmonization Directive) and the Community Trademark system. Familiarity with U.S. trademark law is assumed.

Fair Use and Parody

This lesson explores the application of the fair use doctrine, a defense to copyright infringement, in the special context of parody, based on the guidance provided by the Supreme Court in Campbell v. Acuff Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569 (1994). The lesson builds on the foundation established in CALI Lesson CPY08, Fundamentals of Fair Use, using a series of hypotheticals and a final essay.

Foreign Words and Personal Names as Trademarks

This lesson explores how trademark law deals with two specific categories of marks: foreign (non-English) words and people's names. It addresses their ability to function as marks as well as how they should be assessed when determining infringement. The lesson assumes a working familiarity with the "distinctiveness" requirement, the fair use doctrine, and the likelihood of confusion test for infringement.

Functionality

This lesson offers an introduction to the doctrine of functionality, which operates as a defense prohibiting anyone from claiming an exclusive right in functional shapes, elements, or aspects of a product or product packaging. The protectability or registrability of a trademark depends on a factual determination of a design's functionality. The functionality doctrine attempts to weigh the public and private interest in copying design features against a trademark owner's inherently anticompetitive objective to avoid consumer confusion.

Fundamentals of Fair Use

Because copyright creates ownership rights in original expression, the private property interests of copyright owners sometimes come into conflict with the public's interest in disseminating knowledge, expressing ideas, or simply enjoying, sharing, and building upon the protected expression. This lesson introduces the basic concept of fair use in copyright law, and offers numerous examples to test the student's ability to apply the balancing test of 17 U.S.C. § 107.

Pages