Jul 032014

open edu 300-x-200px copy[Post by Professor Barton Beebe]  I’ve posted online at http://www.bartonbeebe.com/TrademarkLawCasebook.html my new casebook, Trademark Law: An Open-Source Casebook.  The book, provided in .pdf and .doc formats, is and will always be available under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.  No price, no suggested price.  Feel free to adapt all or any of it (under the terms of the CC license).

A few notes on the style of the casebook:

  1. The paragraphs of all opinions are numbered (for students who want to take the .doc version and reformat it for their preferred device; for professors who want to be able to use last year’s notes while teaching from a revised version of the casebook).
  2. The book emphasizes survey evidence a bit more than other trademark law casebooks, and on certain topics in trademark law, it tries to give lots of examples, typically in the form of brief summaries of related cases including quotes from the heart of the relevant opinion.
  3. As compared to casebooks generally, it’s sometimes relatively light on notes and comments following opinions.  It’s also relatively direct in its presentation.  It frequently tries to explain to the reader why we’re bothering reading some particular opinion and may give the holding of the opinion in advance.  It often proposes questions before the opinion that the student should consider while reading the opinion (rather than offering these questions after the opinion).  I’d like to think the book doesn’t offer much of an ideological slant.  It leaves that for the classroom – and your own edits and additions.
  4. The book is up-to-date.  It contains a brief description of the Uniform Rapid Suspension System and includes the first opinion issued under the URS.  It contains an edited version of Blackhorse.  It also includes the May 2014 TTAB opinion Chanel v. Makarczyk (which provides a very straightforward example of blurring facts and blurring analysis).
  5. The book is written for a 4-credit trademark law class, which is what I teach here at NYU (I used a draft of the book last fall).  This means that if anyone wants to adopt the book for a 3-credit course, they should consider taking an afternoon to work through the .doc versions of the parts and deleting out what they don’t want to assign.  Certain parts tend to have an extra opinion that can easily be deleted.  (For example, it includes both In re Heeb Media and a lengthy version of the Blackhorse opinion; on descriptive fair use, both Dessert Beauty and Kelly-Brown v Winfrey; on Rogers, both E.S.S. and Brown v. EA).  Contact me for a few professors who I know are already planning to prepare a 3-credit version for use in the fall.
  6. The book contains a short part on false advertising and a short part on right of celebrity.
  7. I’ll happily send you the powerpoint slides I used while teaching from the book last fall, including the videos related to certain opinions.
  8. Beware, anyone who adopts the book becomes, if they’re willing, an “advisory board” member.  If enough professors actually adopt the book (and I think we may already be there), we can think about a discussion forum and central repository for teaching resources.

Please feel free to write me with any questions.

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