Professor Michael Grynberg's article “More Than IP: Trademark Among the Consumer Information Laws” will be featured in The William and Mary Law Review in 2014. The article considers how trademark law is more closely related to other consumer information regimes—e.g., false advertising laws and FTC regulations—than to incentive-based IP laws like copyright and patent.
Professor Grynberg identifies situations in which optimal trademark policy depends on ascertaining the state of play in another consumer information regime. Yet, he proposes that the problem is more complicated than simply determining how another body of law treats a parallel issue, and notes that the resulting complexity has consequences for trademark’s future. He contends that courts should try to accommodate consumer information law’s variety by simplifying trademark issues in order to minimize the need for cross-doctrinal assessments. He also explores one approach to simplification—the prospect that trademark law would benefit from “offloading” some of its expanding scope to other consumer information regimes.