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    PILT Symposium to Explore Branding in the Global Marketplace

    Trademark laws will be the featured topic during the next Scholarly Symposia Series on Current Issues in Intellectual Property Law, slated for Tuesday, September 28, in Keller Hall. The symposium begins at 6 p.m. with a reception, followed by the program at 7 p.m.

    The symposium will feature John T. Cross, the Grosscurth Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the University of Louisville School of Law. He will discuss "Branding in a World of Global Marketing: Has the Lanham Act Kept Pace"

    The program is sponsored by the School of Law's Intellectual Property Law Society and the Program in Law and Technology.

    Since it was enacted just after the Second World War, the Lanham Act has been far and away the predominant force in the United States trademark law. "But today the venerable statute is beginning to show its age," Cross said. "Enacted during the Radio Age, the Lanham Act has sometimes been difficult to apply in the modern age of television, the Internet and national chain stores. In addition, courts have proven increasingly willing to ignore the literal wording of the statute to create trademark rules that reflect some vague notion of 'desirable' trademark policy."

    "The Lanham Act will soon be 65 years old," Cross said. "Like other workers who have had a full career, perhaps it is time to consider retiring the Act." Since national trademark law is now the norm, Cross noted, Congress would have to enact new legislation to take its place.

    The talk he will give at Dayton Law, Cross said, "hypothesizes what a new national trademark law might look like. It selects various issues that have arisen during the 60-plus years under the Lanham Act, issues that are contentious either because of the wording of the Lanham Act or because of trademark policy. The talk then discusses how Congress might want to deal with these issues in a new law."

    Cross concentrates both his teaching and his research on intellectual property law, especially the intersection between competition law and intellectual property rights. He has written five books, approximately 35 law review articles. He received his law degree from the University of Illinois and his undergraduate degree from Bradley University.

    Prior to joining the law faculty at Louisville in 1987, he was an attorney in private practice in Minneapolis. During his tenure at Louisville, Professor Cross has twice served as a visiting Fulbright Scholar, in Finland in 1995 and in Ireland in 2000. In 2006, based on his contributions to legal scholarship, Professor Cross was awarded a Doctor of Law degree honoris causa from the University of Turku in Finland.

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