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Trademark Unraveled: the U.S. Olympic Committee Versus Knitters of the World

A cease-and-desist letter is a tool commonly used by corporations in their efforts to vindicate the rights they hold in protected words and symbols associated with their business and reputation.  In this article, Professor David examines the consequences of a controversial cease-and-desist letter from several perspectives. She argues that the letter is a helpful mechanism to understand a specialized grant of trademark rights associated with the Olympic Games, and how those rights might fail to protect the varying interests of the trademark holders, commercial actors, and the public; she suggests alternative ways of conceptualizing and vindicating the rights at stake; and she concludes by proposing helpful lessons on lawyering.  To read the article, click here and then press the “download this paper” button.

Marcella David