On Demand Audio

Protecting Sound, Design, and Color: The Emerging Role of Non-Traditional Trademarks In Today’s Connected World

(609 reviews)

Produced on October 27, 2017

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$ 89 Intellectual Property and Trademark In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 3m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Intellectual Property Trademark

Course Description

The revolution of the “Internet of Things” has ushered in a new frontier of branding opportunities for trademark owners. In today’s increasingly connected world, where wearables, self-driving cars, health-tracking devices, and home automation “hubs” allow consumers to interact with their environment and with each other, brand owners can and should seek to identify their goods and services in new and novel manners, through sound, design, color, feel, and even smell.

In this program, trademark expert (and conservatory-trained musician) Kelly Donohue will discuss how to identify, register, and protect non-traditional trademarks. The program will begin with a quick overview of trademark law generally, including the purpose and significance of trademarks and how they can play a significant role in a company’s business strategy. It will then cover the types of non-traditional trademarks that can be protected, with examples of each, a discussion of legal issues to be considered, and an overview of clearance and registration strategies.   

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the importance and legal underpinnings of trademarks generally
  2. Review types of non-traditional trademarks
  3. Examine legal issues relating to registration and protection of non-traditional trademarks

Credit Information

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Kelly Donohue

Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

Ms. Donohue has worked on media and broadcast matters for over a decade, with a particular emphasis on broadcast law. She routinely files pleadings on behalf of clients in application and rulemaking proceedings, and handles matters relating to new station licensing, renewals, changes in communities of license, ownership and attribution, assignments and transfers, facility changes, EEO compliance, sponsorship identification and contest rules. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Donohue spent seven years at the Federal Communications Commission, where she served as an Assistant Division Chief in the Audio Division of the FCC’s Media Bureau and as Special Counsel in the Enforcement Bureau, Office of the Bureau Chief.

Ms. Donohue also manages a growing trademark practice, counseling clients on the selection and clearance of trademarks, and preparing, filing and prosecuting federal trademark and service mark applications. She also negotiates trademark licensing, settlement and consent agreements. Ms. Donohue is well-versed in other intellectual property matters as well, and has counseled clients on issues relating to music licensing, fair use principles under copyright law, and DMCA takedown provisions.

More recently, Ms. Donohue has discovered her passion for working with start-ups and tech companies, ranging from app developers to creators of connected devices (i.e. Internet of Things). It is in this space that Ms. Donohue brings together her broad legal experience, creative "can do" thinking and strong communications skills to find innovative, cost-effective solutions to the legal hurdles new companies often face. She has provided both formal and informal guidance to dozens of companies on issues relating to intellectual property, privacy, regulatory compliance, and corporate structure/governance. 

Ms. Donohue herself has an entrepreneurial spirit. She began her career as a professional musician and continues to write music and perform regularly with her “kindie” rock band, Here Comes Trouble. She has won numerous awards for her songwriting and vocal arrangements, including placements in the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest and International Songwriting Competition. 


Kristin H.

Very informative! Great presentation!!

Jennifer M.

Great examples!

Matthew A.

Ms. Donohue is very insightful. Her presentation is very fluid and the content is well-organized.

Melissa A.

Interesting topic and helpful tips.

Jennifer W.

Great comprehensive program!

Norajean M.

Interesting topic and overview

Jean B.

Excellent presentation. Personable, interesting, informative.

frank s.

great class

Brian S.

Very interesting subject matter. Very good presenter.

Robert B.

Great examples!

Charles D.

Very clear presentation and slides that were clearly in sync with the presentation.

Joanna S.

Very interesting lecture on non traditional marks. Practical advice on how to clear searches given the limited parameters on the Register.

William M.

liked it

Suzanne K.

The speaker had great presentation skills, and I thought the topic was interesting and relevant.

Joseph B.

Very good types of examples presented.

Steven H.

very good material and presentation.

Stewart K.

Thank You!

John J.

Nice presentation.. good overview materials!

Lisa W.

Enjoyed the CLE. Clear and thorough presentation. Thank you.

Tracy M.

Good entry level US trademark registration information.

John B.

Loved the presentation - the written materials could have included some additional helpful citations, but for the most part everything was wonderful. Thanks!

paul S.

Great value for the price, and your staff is friendly.

Stuart S.

Cool topic. Nontraditional marks are a natural consequence of advertising and the future in trying to capture and combat for what little consciousness is left in the mind of the modern consumer.

michael z.

I great deal of well organized info in a short time. The best law line course yet for me

David P.

This presenter seems to truly enjoy the subject.

Mary P.

The pictures in the slide show were instrumental in demonstrating non-traditional marks. Excellent.

Janine B.

I greatly appreciated the fact that Ms. Donahue interwove basic trademark law with the more advanced trademark issues. It helped my understanding greatly.

Harrison B.

Superb presentation !

Erek L.

She seemed a little nervous but very personable, and had a lovely winning smile that she shared often. :)

Jeffrey D.

Great class. Thanks!

Ann-Kathryn S.

Great presentation!!

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