Professor Graeme Dinwoodie, Chair of Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law delivered the Beverly W Pattishall Distinguished Lecture on Trademark Law at the John Marshall Law School, Chicago, on 3 November 2010. The title of the lecture was ‘The Role of the Courts in the Development of U.S. Trademark Law’.
Professor Dinwoodie spoke about the character of the U.S. trademark statute (the Lanham Act) as a “delegating statute,” under which the courts are empowered actively to develop the contours of the law in partnership with Congress. He grounded this characterisation of the Lanham Act in the historical development of trademark law, and suggested that even in an era of rising textualism this vision of trademark lawmaking continued appropriately to command the general support of the courts and Congress.
Beverly W. Pattishall, in whose memory the Lecture was established, was one of the most prominent U.S. trademark practitioners of the twentieth century. Prior Pattishall Lecturers have included Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court and Alexander von Muhlendahl, the first Vice President of OHIM (the Trade Mark Office of the European Union).