The following is an edited transcript of my video 3 Things I’ve Learned Teaching Trademarks

I’ve been teaching for the last few years at Howard University School of Law, where I teach and supervise the trademark clinic course. In addition, I have taught many webinars and other courses on a variety of trademark topics. I want to share three things that I’ve learned teaching about trademarks.

  1. Every case is unique. When we have a client matter, there’s always some unique twist. New things come up all the time, because the facts in every case are always unique. When we’re teaching about trademarks, we’re teaching about the fundamentals and the principles, and about the framework for analysis and how to use your judgment within that framework to evaluate possible conflicts and other trademark issues.
  2. Searching trademarks is incredibly difficult. Searching to clear trademark brand names both with the USPTO and elsewhere is incredibly challenging to do and to teach. It takes doing thousands of searches to really know how to build, construct, evaluate and use an effective search. Part of that is because of the search systems are complex. Part of that is because you’re using your judgment every time you do a search, look at the results and come to a conclusion, so it’s really challenging to teach that in a short period of time.
  3. I get just as much—if not more—out of teaching than the students do. Teaching keeps me on my toes and in touch with new developments in the law. And also in having to explain it and answer questions from students, it forces me to sometimes reevaluate how and why we do things, so I learn at least as much as the students do.

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