Virginia S. Taylor
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, Atlanta, Georgia
INTA first published State Trademark and Unfair Competition Law in 1989. At that time, the original introduction posed the question of whether U.S. state law had become merely redundant or irrelevant in an era of expansive interpretation of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act. Citing rights of publicity, dilution and the "little FTC", fair business practices and consumer protection statutes, this writer concluded that state laws were, in many ways, in the forefront of new ideas in fields related to trademarks and unfair competition at that time.
Today, in 2012, in the wake of a roller coaster history of the U.S. federal dilution statute, and in an era of globalization of intellectual property exploitation and infringement, the same question is worth asking, again. We believe that state law continues to serve important functions in the area of unfair competition law and related fields. State dilution law survives alongside the federal statutory scheme, providing different standards of liability based on more extensive and varied bodies of historical caselaw. State common law often fills in registration gaps in enforcement proceedings and, along with unfair competition and consumer protection statutes, continues to provide alternative theories of liability. Other state statutes afford additional remedies beyond those available under the Lanham Act, and rights of publicity still arise only from state law. More broadly, state contract law provides the framework for trademark agreements and state tort law governs claims of licensor liability, trade libel, tortious interference and many other issues that arise in the commercial use of trademarks.
Since its first publication, the purpose of this treatise has been to make key information regarding U.S. state causes of action readily available to practitioners. This electronic edition greatly advances that goal. It provides enhanced tools for searching, navigating and accessing information far beyond those that the treatise could offer in traditional book form. INTA is pleased to be able to relaunch this classic work in an even more useful format.