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

In addition to teaching and supervising the trademark clinic course at Howard University School of Law, I have taught many webinars and other courses on a variety of trademark topics, and I want to share three things that I’ve learned while teaching about trademarks:

  1. Every case is unique. When we have a client matter, there’s always some unique twist to a particular matter. And new things that come up all the time, even after doing this for more than 20 years, because the facts in every case are always unique. When teaching about trademarks, about the fundamentals and the principles, and really about the framework for analysis and how to use your judgment within that framework to evaluate possible conflicts and other trademark issues.
  2. Searching is incredibly difficult. Searching the USPTO and elsewhere to clear trademark brand names is incredibly challenging and is incredibly challenging to teach. It takes doing thousands of searches to really know instinctively how to build, construct, evaluate, and use an effective search. Part of that is because the search systems are complex. Part of that is because you’re building that judgment every time you do a search, you look at the results and come to conclusions, so it’s really challenging to teach that in a short period of time.
  3. My favorite thing that I’ve learned about teaching is that I get just as much, if not more, out of it than the students do. Teaching keeps me on my toes, keeps me in touch with new developments in the law, about what the students are going through. And in having to explain and answer questions from students, it forces me to sometimes reevaluate how and why we do things, and so I learn at least as much as the students do.

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