102 Iowa L. Rev. 317 (2016)
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This Note examines the Eighth Circuit’s trademark jurisprudence on parodies. For decades, legal scholars have been unable to reconcile conflicting interests between trademark and constitutional law. While trademark owners have an interest in protecting their marks from unauthorized third-party uses, the parodist also has an interest in his choice of speech and expression. Circuits have wrestled with this conflict differently, but the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has been particularly hostile to parodies, and, unlike the other circuits, has rarely agreed with a parodist’s First Amendment arguments. In effect, the Eighth Circuit’s divergent approach to trademark parodies increases judicial inconsistency and lowers judicial efficiency. Moreover, the Eighth Circuit’s anti-parodist attitude poses a severe threat to free expression and commerce. To resolve these problems, this Note proposes that the Eighth Circuit reforms its current approach to better account for a parodist’s right to free speech.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016