Analyzing Trademark and Copyright Infringement Scenarios

1. You work for attorney Smith who works for Nike®. The slogan Nike uses is “Just Do It.” Nike® representatives have approached Smith about a problem that has arisen. A small athletic shoe manufacturer has launched a campaign using the slogan, “Just do it NOW.”

a) What would you need to do to show that Nike’s slogan, “Just do it,” was protectable?

b) What would Nike need to do to demonstrate that there was an infringement of their trademark?

c) Evaluate the two slogans to determine if an infringement occurred.

d) What possible defenses are available to the defendant in an infringement dispute?

e) Last, what values do you believe are being promoted by trademark infringement laws?

2. Claudette Nouvelle has created a completely new and original pantomime act. She just created it by performing it one day. She has never written anything down. She is looking to get an agent, but in the meantime has been performing this new work on the streets of New York to rave reviews from the passersby. Martine Marceau, granddaughter of the famous Marcel Marceau, witnessed the performance on two occasions and has decided to perform the pantomime in her new act. She is performing in an off-Broadway theater and has filmed her performance of this pantomime and has called it “The Streets of New York,” by Martine Marceau.

a) Name and explain the three (3) basic requirements for copyrightability and determine if Claudette has a copyright in this pantomime?

b) Determine if Martine has a copyright in this pantomime?

c) Last, what values do you believe are being promoted by copyright protection laws?


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