William McGeveran
Interim Dean
Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty & Bennett Professor of Law

Prof. William McGeveran Weighs in with Minnesota Lawyer on Trademark Dispute Case Headed to SCOTUS Between Jack Daniels and Bad Spaniels

Professor William McGeveran was quoted by Minnesota Lawyer in an article discussing an ongoing legal battle between the whisky company Jack Daniels and a dog toy company manufacturing a parody of their trademarked bottle label. After a series of appeals over whether or not the dog chew toy qualifies as parody, the case is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The outcome of the case could greatly impact free speech. Professor McGeveran explained, "This is crucial for free speech for two reasons. First, our culture is pervasively branded, and trademark over-enforcement could make it impossible to portray the world realistically, never mind to critique it or ridicule it. Second, the standard likelihood of confusion test requires a lengthy and expensive court battle, which chills speech regardless of who might ultimately prevail. Rogers is a simple, artist-friendly test that can be adjudicated at the outset of a case on a motion to dismiss.”