Should People be Able to Trademark Phrases?

This Should People be Able to Trademark Phrases? lesson plan also includes:

"The happiest place on Earth." "This. . . is American Idol." "SCORE!" Catch phrases abound in our media-soaked culture. They bring to mind amusement parks, television programs, and sporting events. And it is precisely because the phrases spark recognition that a controversy has arisen over whether these phrases can and should be eligible for trademark. To prepare for an academic discussion of this question, class members read a background sheet, an annotated article, an opinions and perspectives matrix, and a fact sheet. Pairs then use a bar graph to evaluate the strength of the arguments presented for and against trademarking phrases. Finally, they use the provided sentence frames to present their rationale for their ratings.

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Classroom Considerations
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • The provided sentence frames model how to craft academic responses and challenges in a discussion of debatable topics
  • Also included is a vocabulary exercise
  • Consider bringing the class back together for a concluding discussion of the process