Assignment 1: Intellectual Property Dispute
For this assignment, the class will be divided into three groups. Group A will prepare individual briefs for the plaintiff. Group B will file individual briefs for the defendants. Group C will act as the appeals panel and prepare a final ruling. This is an individual assignment, and you and your classmates will be working in common areas and not in teams or groups.
To provide for more uniformity in the case briefs, consider the following format for your case briefs.
Case: James Stick (Plaintiff) vs. Sportsman’s Warehouse (Defendant)
For over 20 years, James Stick, an Italian citizen, has made millions of dollars in licensing fees on the StickMan, characterized as a human figure showing the head as a circle and the rest of the body as a combination of straight lines. Through his Italian company, StickMan, James Stick secured trademarks in over 50 countries; however, he never filed for trademark protection in the U.S. From 1994 to the present, Sportsman’s Warehouse, the largest sports retailer in the United States, spent millions of dollars using the stick figure in its advertising. Since the stick figure is used for advertising, it is found on bags, shipping boxes, and on the store’s generic brand of clothing. In 2005, James Stick filed for trademark rights to the StickMan with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Two months later, Sportsman’s Warehouse filed for sole trademark rights to their stick man figure. James Stick opposed the application by Sportsman’s Warehouse.
Analyze why trademark protection should be granted to your party and not to the other one.
Prepare your one-page brief in support of your party for review by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) appeal board.
If you are in Group A or Group B, write your briefs in a Microsoft Word document and name the file M7_A1_LastName_GroupA/B_Brief.doc. By Friday, February 19, 2016, submit the brief to the Doc Sharing Area under M7_GroupA_Plaintiff_Briefs or M7_GroupB_Defendant_Briefs categories based on your group.
If you are acting as one of the appeals panel (Group C), review at least two briefs each from the plaintiff and defendant. You should also review the facts and identify the issues. Analyze whether trademark protection should be granted to one of the parties? If so, to which party. If not, why not?
Then, you should prepare a one-page ruling about granting the trademark protection and support the ruling with case law, research, and other legal authority. Also, provide a balanced feedback, addressing both strengths and weaknesses of the briefs done by each of them.
Write your ruling in a Microsoft Word document and name the file M7_A1_LastName_Ruling.doc. Submit the brief to the Doc Sharing Area under the M7_Ruling category by Saturday, February 20, 2016.
If you are in Group A or B, review and critique at least three rulings. Through Wednesday, February 24, 2016, provide a balanced feedback, defending the ruling or your brief. Support your defense with case law, research, and other legal authority. Submit your review and critique to the Discussion Area.
All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.
Note: When citing legal texts, please refer to: Introduction to basic legal citation (LII 2007 ed.). Web site: http://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/ or open the link provided under Introduction to basic legal citation in the Webliography.