Conference by Prof. Lisa Ramsey on the topic: “Resolving Conflicts Between Trademark Laws and Free Expression in the United States and Europe”

07.10.2018

CEIPI is pleased to announce that Prof. Lisa Ramsey, Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, will deliver a presentation on July 10, 2018 at 5:30 pm, as part of the lecture series "(Re) Thinking Intellectual Property, Fundamental Questions and New Perspectives" as well as a Annual Guest of Honor Lecture in the 10th edition of the Summer School in European intellectual property law. Her presentation will focus on the theme "Resolving Conflicts Between Trademark Laws and Free Expression in the United States and Europe".
 
Abstract: In Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that the federal trademark law denying registration to potentially disparaging marks was an unconstitutional regulation of the viewpoint of expression in violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. U.S. courts should now evaluate whether trademark laws violate the free speech right and balance the benefits of the specific trademark provision against that law’s harm to expression. This presentation explores whether courts in the European Union will similarly conclude that the right to freedom of expression protected in constitutions and human rights treaties is violated by national or regional trademark laws. While those courts may determine that certain trademark laws conflict with freedom of expression, they are less likely to recognize a free expression right to registration of offensive trademarks or other marks contrary to morality or public order.

Short CV: Lisa P. Ramsey is the Class of 1975 Endowed Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where she is a founding member of the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Markets. She teaches and writes in the areas of trademark law, intellectual property, and international intellectual property. She has given presentations on trademark law throughout the United States and around the world, including in Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Before joining the USD law faculty, Professor Ramsey was an intellectual property litigator for several years at a law firm in San Diego, California.

Links to relevant papers and blog posts

A Free Speech Right to Trademark Protection? 106 Trademark Reporter 797 (2016) 

Symposium: Increasing First Amendment scrutiny of trademark law after Matal v. Tam, SCOTUSblog (June 20, 2017)

The First Amendment Protects Offensive Trademarks, The Regulatory Review (July 25, 2017) (published by the Penn Program on Regulation at the University of Pennsylvania Law School)