Strengthening the Distinction Between Copyright and Trademark: The Supreme Court Takes a Stand

By: Jessica Bohrer

Until recently, the question of whether §43 of the Lanham Act prevented the unaccredited copying of an un-copyrighted work was an open one. However, in Dastar v. Twentieth Century Fox, the United States Supreme Court speaks directly on this issue, emphasizing the distinction between copyright and trademark protections and cautioning against “misuse or overextension” of trademark protections into areas traditionally covered by copyright or patent law. This iBrief assesses the importance of such line drawing and explores the implications of this decision.

Cite: 2003 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0023