DONATE
>Rodney A. Smolla

About Rodney A. Smolla

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Rodney A. Smolla has created 35 blog entries.

Wearing Political Messages Inside a Polling Place

By Rodney Smolla… As this year’s Supreme Court term turns to the stretch run, one of the most interesting cases to watch will be Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky (Docket No. 16-1435). The case is a challenge to a Minnesota law challenging what citizens may wear when they go to polling places to vote. The [...]

By |2018-09-27T16:46:44+00:00May 1st, 2018|First Amendment Trends|Comments Off on Wearing Political Messages Inside a Polling Place

Free Speech, Fake News, and Social Media

By Rod Smolla...  Is It the Medium or the Message? “The medium is the message,” wrote the American philosopher Marshall McLuhan.[1]   From the inception of the Internet, American law has been vexed by whether to follow McLuhan’s dictum, or instead insist on its opposite. In fashioning the constitutional, common-law, and statutory doctrines that govern liability [...]

By |2018-09-27T16:57:36+00:00October 18th, 2017|First Amendment Trends|Comments Off on Free Speech, Fake News, and Social Media

IP Law and the Capacity To Take a Joke

Dean Rodney A. Smolla, Delaware Law School, Widener University June 24, 2016 Louis Vuitton can’t take a joke.  That was the view of Judge Jesse Furman of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in a decision earlier this year involving a trademark and copyright infringement action brought by Louis [...]

By |2018-07-04T10:50:02+00:00June 24th, 2016|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on IP Law and the Capacity To Take a Joke

Being Interviewed Shouldn’t Yield Automatic Ownership Right in Author’s Finished Work

Dean Rodney A. Smolla, Delaware Law School, Widener University May 24, 2016 The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, in a decision by Judge Leigh Martin May, recently issued an order allowing a copyright infringement case brought on behalf of 54 Sudanese refuges against the makers of the film “The Good Lie.”1 [...]

By |2018-07-04T10:50:38+00:00May 24th, 2016|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on Being Interviewed Shouldn’t Yield Automatic Ownership Right in Author’s Finished Work

Storytelling, the First Amendment, and Right of Publicity

Dean Rodney A. Smolla, Delaware Law School, Widener University February 29, 2016 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently decided a major right-of-publicity case with important implications for creative works based on real events.  The case, arising from the film “The Hurt Locker,” was Sarver v. Chartier.1  Mark Boal, a journalist working [...]

By |2018-07-04T10:51:03+00:00February 29th, 2016|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on Storytelling, the First Amendment, and Right of Publicity

In re Tam: Federal Circuit Vindicates First Amendment Principles

Dean Rodney A. Smolla, Delaware Law School, Widener University December 28, 2015 As I and other contributors to IP Viewpoints have written in numerous essays over the last year, two fascinating cases have been wending their way through the federal courts testing whether the federal government may deny or cancel trademark registration to racially or [...]

By |2018-07-04T13:05:07+00:00December 28th, 2015|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on In re Tam: Federal Circuit Vindicates First Amendment Principles

More on Disparaging Trademarks

Dean Rodney A. Smolla, Delaware Law School, Widener University September 23, 2015 I have written previously on two pending trademark disputes involving the denial or cancellation of trademark registration on the grounds that the marks are “disparaging.”  The first was In re Tam,1  in which a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for [...]

By |2018-07-04T13:06:34+00:00September 23rd, 2015|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on More on Disparaging Trademarks

The Washington Redskins Trademark Decision Violates the First Amendment

Dean Rodney A. Smolla, Delaware Law School, Widener University July 27, 2015 In an IP Viewpoints piece I posted in April 2015, I expressed the hope that First Amendment principles would be brought to bear against the Patent and Trademark Office in its efforts to cancel the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration.  In that article I [...]

By |2018-07-04T13:07:09+00:00July 27th, 2015|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on The Washington Redskins Trademark Decision Violates the First Amendment

The Prior Restraint Question in Garcia v. Google

Prof. Rodney A. Smolla, University of Georgia Law School June 30, 2015 In a recent IP Viewpoints post my colleague Professor Randal Picker discussed the recent Ninth Circuit en banc opinion in Garcia v. Google.1  At the end of Professor Picker’s excellent essay he notes that he had chipped away at a part of Garcia, [...]

By |2018-07-04T13:07:42+00:00June 30th, 2015|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on The Prior Restraint Question in Garcia v. Google

The Washington Redskins, The Slants, And a Land Where Often Is Heard a Disparaging Word

Prof. Rodney A. Smolla, University of Georgia Law School April 28, 2015 May the Patent and Trademark Office deny trademark protection for a mark that it deems disparaging to members of certain racial or ethnic groups?  The issue has been most famously posed by the Washington Redskins trademark litigation, a dispute of Dickensian expanse that [...]

By |2018-07-04T13:08:15+00:00April 28th, 2015|Intellectual Property Issues|Comments Off on The Washington Redskins, The Slants, And a Land Where Often Is Heard a Disparaging Word