UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law


Chad Doellinger


The year 2003 saw a great deal of activity in the ongoing development of trademark law. While the law both reconnected with its bricks-and-mortar roots and expanded to accommodate new fact patterns in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, 2003 saw the beginning of a doctrinal contraction, with a requirement to tie inchoate harms to empirical foundations. Additionally, several issues of first impression were resolved, including the conclusion that domain names are a form of property. While 2003 saw a contraction of trademark rights, this is not necessarily a negative development for trademark owners. Instead, courts are merely refining the underlying doctrine and requiring the same types of empirical foundations that have been required in trademark law for decades. This article will explore these recent developments and discuss where they leave the area of trademark law today.