Art vs. Commerce: The Evolution of the Artistic Relevance Test

This webinar has ended.


The Lanham Act allows trademark holders to enforce their rights against infringers; but what happens when the allegedly infringing use is within a work of artistic expression? To resolve the inherent tension between the Lanham Act and the First Amendment, courts use the artistic relevance test to define the limits of trademark protection. Under this test, courts presume that the use of another’s trademark in an artistic work is noninfringing unless it bears no relevance to the underlying work or it is intentionally misleading as to the source of the work.

In this trademark and copyright webinar, Jenifer deWolf Paine, Ryan Steinman, and Sarah Kelleher discuss the artistic relevance test, and cover topics such as:

  • The foundations of the doctrine
  • Its evolution over the years
  • Its expansion and limitation by the courts

Jenifer, Ryan, and Sarah devote particular attention to the use of the artistic relevance doctrine to video games.