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"Owning Colors": A Public IP Lecture by Deborah R. Gerhardt

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 1:15 PM to 2:45 PM (CDT)

"Owning Colors": A Public IP Lecture by Deborah R....

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General 13h 41m Free  

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IP Lecture Series: Owning Colors

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | 1:15 p.m.
Onsite registration begins at 12:45 p.m.

CLE Credit: 1.5 hours (approved)
CLE credit is extended to Illinois attorneys only. Attorneys who need CLE from other states are welcome to apply to their jurisdictions on their own. The extension of CLE credit is subject to each state approval.


There is no cost to attend this lecture; however, registration is requested.


Colors are powerful. We are biologically wired to respond to them. A particular color may stimulate emotion, activate memory and influence perception of the passage of time. Historically, colors have been invested with mystical, symbolic and religious significance. Because of their significant persuasive potential, colors have become the subject of intellectual property (IP) claims, especially under trademark law. Given the many non-trademark meanings that colors can express, how do courts and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) sort through these claims to determine when colors should be the subject of IP protection?


In Owning Colors, Professor Gerhardt (with co-author, Professor Jon McClanahan, University of Minnesota Law School), explore this question and review how different disciplines approach color meaning. Professor Gerhardt will present their new research providing contemporary insights into how consumers respond to colors. She will show what her research reveals about consumers color preferences, color quality associations and whether consumers use colors to find brands when they shop. She will explain how trademark law sorts color signals and the extent to which courts and the USPTO grant businesses the exclusive right to use a color in a particular market. Owning Colors promises to be an interdisciplinary treat that will explore color perceptions, how colors influence market behavior, and a growing trend of claiming colors as IP.


About Deborah Gerhardt


Deborah R. Gerhardt is an Associate Professor at the UNC School of Law. She specializes in the intersection of law and creativity. Professor Gerhardt has written leading articles in trademark, copyright and art law. She received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to support research to clarify whether art and historical documents are protected by copyright or in the public domain. Professor Gerhardt was awarded UNC’s 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction. Professor Gerhardt teaches Arts Entrepreneurship, Art Law, Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Contracts and a practical writing seminar on intellectual property strategies and transactions.  She secured UNC a slot in the USPTO's pilot clinical program and led the effort to launch Carolina's Intellectual Property Clinic where she has taught students practical skills while providing pro bono counsel to artists, musicians and small businesses. Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, Deborah Gerhardt clerked for the Honorable Judge John M. Manos in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and practiced at Jones Day Reavis & Pogue in Cleveland. She earned her A.B. degree from Duke University and her J.D. degree cum laude from Case Western Reserve School of Law.



Consent For Video Recording:

This event will be recorded and may be later made publically available via the Internet. Participation in the event constitutes consent to be recorded, including without limitation by audio, video, and still images. Participants understand that such recordings may be distributed by means of a variety of media, formats, and contexts, and that this may occur during the event and thereafter. Participants waive all claims for any compensation and for any damages or other remedies in connection with such recordings and the use thereof.

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When & Where

The John Marshall Law School
315 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 1:15 PM to 2:45 PM (CDT)

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