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Archived updates for Friday, November 05, 2004

Avoiding Product Liability for Trademark Owners

According to an October 26, 2004 article by Kevin T. Kramer and Patrick J. Jennings, many states, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Ohio and Texas, impose liability for defective products on trademark licensors who play a significant or substantial role in the manufacturing, marketing or distribution of a defective product. In these jurisdictions, a trademark licensor?s liability generally depends on a number of factors, including: 1) the licensor?s control over the product design; 2) the fees received for use of the mark; 3) the prominence of the mark; 4) the supply of components; 5) the participation in advertisement; and 6) the degree of economic benefit derived from the licensing agreement. See Burkert v. Petrol Plus of Naugatuck, Inc., 579 A.2d 26, 34-35 (Conn. 1990) (summarizing cases dealing with trademark licensor liability in a number of different jurisdictions).
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