Volume 100 -- Issue 6 Georgetown Law Journal

Response: An Information Approach to Trademarks

The fundamental problem of communication is that of reproducing at one point either exactly or approximately a message selected at another point. Frequently the messages have meaning; that is they refer to or are correlated according to some system with certain physical or conceptual entities. These semantic aspects of communication are irrelevant to the engineering problem. The significant aspect is that the actual message is one selected from a set of possible messages. The system must be designed to operate for each possible selection, not just the one which will actually be chosen since this is unknown at the time of design.

– Claude Shannon

Trademark law’s current conception of information and how trademarks enable information transmission is underdeveloped. It has led to a world where trademark law hinders rather than “fosters the flow of information in markets.” . . . .

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