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Trademark clearance is one of the most basic needs of businesses of all sizes, and counseling about searches is one of the fundamental jobs of trademark practitioners. Searches often require judgment calls on highly subjective questions that may lead to trademark conflicts, litigation, and expense. It is vital for everyone engaged in any stage of brand development and clearance to understand the applicable legal principles, best practices, and risks. Important topics include general advice for clients on trademark selection; the scope of word searches and design searches (“screen” or “knock-out” and “full” searches, including what they typically do not cover); the interface of U.S. and foreign searching; the legal principles that apply to search evaluations; attorney-client privilege relating to search opinions; and preparing search opinions, including the wording of legal opinions and advices, together with cautions and qualifications. Other topics that will be covered include a discussion of the practical issues that practitioners face in evaluating clearance search results and providing opinions on availability, especially when there are “weak marks” involved, and the relevance of similar marks in a “crowded field.” How evidence of third party marks have been used by parties in litigation and whether and why courts have found such evidence probative will be explored. Practical examples will be drawn from case law, updated with the latest developments.
Join Patricia Cotton and Carolyn S. Toto of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, and in just one hour registrants will:
- learn about the scope and limitations of trademark searches (10 minutes)
- learn about the legal principles that govern trademark search opinions (10 minutes)
- learn practical impact, pro and con, of trademark searches and opinions in litigation (10 minutes)
- learn about the impact of third party marks in a trademark clearance and litigation (15 minutes)
- see illustrated examples of litigated cases in which searches and third party marks played an important role (15 minutes)
Corporate and outside counsel and practice assistants who deal with trademarks along with businesspeople involved in brand management and promotion should attend this presentation. Participants to this One-Hour Briefing are entitled to a 35% discount off PLI’s Likelihood of Confusion in Trademark Law. Simply enter discount code TNH2 DSCNT into both priority code boxes in your cart prior to checkout.