International Law: Expect the Unexpected Yesterday, I gave a guest lecture at California Western School of Law, thanks to an invitation from Prof. James Cooper. It was a deeply rewarding experience, which helped me understand why so many professors say they are the ones who learn from their students.
The topic of my lecture was comparative intellectual property law. As with pretty much any area of the law, the common law and civil law traditions diverge in their treatment of certain IP issues. For example, when assigning trademark rights, Anglo-American jurisdictions generally favor those who first use a trademark, while their continental counterparts give more weight to who first files an application. China has adopted the latter approach, and rather strictly, as we discussed in China’s Trademarks and the Real Life Meaning of First to File. See also China Trademark Theft. It’s Baaaaaack in a Big Way.
“Having conducted proper trademark searches in each country, I was surprised when our Thai application was denied on the basis that it was too similar to another mark. According to the Thai Trademark Office, our client’s mark was too like the mark DANS (apostrophe-less possessive), previously registered by a dairy company.”