Research Paper: Submit A DraftThis week, you may submit a draft of your paper, including your research findings and preliminary arguments, to your instructor for general feedback if you choose to do so. This submission is not required but is a good chance to make sure you are on the right track with your research paper.
This research paper is a required component of the course, and successful completion will have a direct effect on your overall success in the course.
As you will recall, the focus of the research paper will be a relatively recent case by the U.S. Supreme Court. In Wal-Mart Stores v. Samara Brothers, Wal-Mart stores contracted with a clothing manufacturer, Judy-Philippine, Inc., to copy designs by another well-known company, Samara Brothers, Inc., and to manufacture clothes for Wal-Mart. Samara Brothers learned of this copying and sued for trademark infringement.
The question that this case focuses on is whether the design of the garment itself is protected under trademark law when it has not been registered. In general, a trademark does not have to be registered to be awarded protection under trademark law. However, whether the design of a garment, including familiar objects such as flowers, can also be protected under this law.
In your paper, address the following questions:
How were prior cases on the question of trademark protection addressed by the Court?
Did any federal statute play a substantial role in the decision of the Court?
Explain the Wal-Mart decision. What was the holding and what did the Court base this holding on?
Was the holding of the court broad or narrow? What do you perceive the impact of this case will be on the industry?
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