While big companies may have dozens of trademarks, smaller and lesser-known companies can also have valid trademarks, as long as they satisfy the trademark criteria.
Can a large company infringe a smaller company’s mark? Yes! This is sometimes referred to as “reverse confusion,” where the small company is the first user and the large company is the later user. But, there can still be confusion among consumers. The larger company may use its money and resources (like ads) to infiltrate the smaller company’s market with a similar mark on similar goods or services.
She graduated from Cornell College in Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a minor in Religion before attending Loyola University Chicago School of Law. While at Loyola, she competed on the National Health Law Moot Court Team and the Appellate Lawyers Association Moot Court Team. She wrote for the Annals of Health Law and Journal of Regulatory Compliance. Sarah externed at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and clerked for the Honorable Judge Neil Hartigan in the Court of Claims. She was also a research assistant for Professor Cynthia Ho, who mentored Sarah during her time at Loyola after connecting during a prospective student tour. Sarah then went onto take all of Professor Ho’s IP courses in addition to completing the Advocacy and Health Law certificates. She was also a member of IP Bytes.
We recently spoke about her background, her Loyola experiences, and how IP has influenced her legal career.
I love board games and have been playing a lot of Settlers of Catan online during the pandemic. I use a site called colonist.io, which is an offshoot, unaffiliated version of the Settlers of Catan game. During my Intellectual Property (IP) class with Professor Ho earlier this year, I wondered how IP rights extend to board games. When we tend to think of IP, we might think of cool technological inventions for patents or Disney’s Mickey Mouse for copyright. IP generally relates to protecting human created products, names, and expressions, and can give its owner rights to protect these.
In April 2020, I was committed to attending a law school that was not Loyola. After making the tuition deposit, however, something didn’t feel right. I began rethinking whether that school would be the best place to spend the next three years. But where would I go?
My goal was to attend a school with a strong IP program. However, I wanted more than a curriculum. I wanted a community, a place that would make me happy when I walked through the doors every day. After making this realization, I scheduled calls with deans, professors, alumni, and students at other law schools to gain insights into their experiences.
While at Loyola she represented the school as a Student Member of the Richard Linn Inn of Court and as a Vis Moot International Commercial Arbitration Fellow. She was a Civil Procedure tutor for Professor Richard Michael and was the Chair of Professional Development for the National Security Law Association.
Kara joined NGE after graduating cum laude from Loyola in 2017. Her practice areas include trademark, copyright, and patent enforcement and litigation. She also works as an adjunct professor at Loyola, teaching Advanced Legal Writing in Intellectual Property and coaches the Vienna Vis Moot team.
I first heard about intellectual property (IP) law during my junior year of college. I had a friend in the school of engineering who planned to pursue a career in patent law. My friend explained to me that a patent is a way to protect someone’s invention. She also mentioned that patent law is a subset of a larger legal area called IP. When I asked how someone becomes a patent attorney, she said that you need a science degree. As an economics major, I was put-off by this statement. I thought that IP was not an option for me. I can gladly say that I was wrong. Before I explain why IP is an option for me, let me explain how I ended up at law school in the first place! Continue reading “My Journey to IP at Loyola University Chicago”
I spent six years working in broadcast journalism and nearly two years in digital marketing before coming to law school. Titles switched, duties expanded and employers changed, but intellectual property (“IP”), especially copyright, was always at the core. I existed in a constant state of media creation and consumption. Come along for the ride, and I’ll explain how. Continue reading “The Road To Loyola”
When I first looked into Intellectual Property Law shortly after taking the LSAT, I thought that I was automatically ineligible without a science background. But, I was happy to learn that my initial assumption was wrong. It turns out you don’t have to have a science or STEM background to work in Intellectual Property. Those things are only required for those interested in the patent bar, which is only required to practice on behalf of inventors before the USPTO. In reality, IP is more than just patents, and a diverse background might be more helpful than you think.