Trademark Extortion

This is an article that I think is of real relevance to this blog. It's author is Professor Ken Port, past winner of the LADAS award which is presented to the best article concerning trademark law in the world. I was a research assistant to Professor Port while attending William Mitchell College of Law and helped him in researching this article.

The premise of this article is that Companies are abusing trademark law in order to expand the strength of their trademarks thus increasing entry costs for new businesses and in extreme examples forcing these competitors out of the market entirely. The evidence Professor Port points to is that trademark cases that reach a conclusion on the merits at trial have fallen considerably in recent decades. However, paradoxically the number of trademark claims filed continues to rise. Finally, these claims that do reach a trial on the merits have only about a 50% success rate for the plaintiff. The conclusion Port draws from these findings is that companies are filing trademark claims against companies with no intention of ever proceeding to a trial on the merits. These companies are simply using the trademark claim as a strong arm tactic to bully competitors out of their market. Here is a link to this provocative article.


Categories: Articles, Trademark Law

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