PILT Symposium to Examine Functionality Doctrine

Law professor Mark P. McKenna

Notre Dame law professor Mark P. McKenna will examine the functionality doctrine in trademark law during a symposium at Joseph E. Keller Hall on Wednesday, April 4.

The latest program in the Scholarly Symposia Series on Current Issues in Intellectual Property Law, McKenna's presentation, titled "(Dys)Functionality," begins at 7 p.m. The talk will be preceded by a reception at 6 p.m.

McKenna will discuss how "persistent doctrinal disagreements in functionality doctrine reflect longstanding disagreement about the purposes of functionality."

The symposium also includes a panel of IP experts: James D. Liles, an attorney at Porter Wright, and UDSL law professor Tracy Reilly.

The program is sponsored by the law firm of Porter Wright through the Hubert A. and Gladys C. Estabrook Charitable Trust and presented by the School of Law’s Program in Law and Technology and the Intellectual Property Law Society.

McKenna, who joined the Notre Dame Law School faculty in fall 2008, teaches and writes in the area of intellectual property and is widely recognized as a leading scholar in the trademark area, having published a number of articles in leading law journals on the topic of trademark law. Some of his latest projects deal with concerns about intergenerational equity in intellectual property and the role of the placebo effect in intellectual property policy. Prior to joining the Notre Dame faculty, he was a faculty member at Saint Louis University School of Law and practiced law with an intellectual property firm in Chicago, where he primarily litigated trademark and copyright cases. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1997 with a degree in economics and earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2000.

James Liles has been representing clients in litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, unfair competition, trade secrets and false advertising for more than 20 years. He is the chair of the intellectual property litigation group at Porter Wright, and is regularly involved in advising clients and litigating functionality issues in a variety of contexts, including trademark, design patents and trade dress.

Tracy Reilly teaches real property and intellectual property courses in the Program of Law & Technology at the School of Law. Her scholarship is focused in the areas of trademark and copyright law with an emphasis on digital sampling and copyright infringement. Before joining the faculty in 2006, she was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago, where she worked in the areas of intellectual property, entertainment, advertising, e-commerce and corporate law, and an in-house counsel for an independent record label.

Registration Information

Register online or contact Nan Holler-Potter at 937-229-4676 or by email. The deadline to register is March 28.

One and a half CLE credit hours are being offered for this symposium. The cost to register is $50. More information is available in the symposium brochure (PDF).

Parking Information

Parking passes are required to park on campus. Passes are available at the Visitor Parking Information Center on College Park Avenue and L Street, past Keller Hall. View a map of campus »