Laurence Colton

Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


This Article surveys legal developments in the area of intellectual property relevant to the Eleventh Circuit during the 2011 calendar year. This year, the developments will be presented in a different manner. In recent years, national and state case law has been the primary driver of the developments. However, in 2011, the more interesting and more pertinent drivers have been statutory and practical in nature, both national and international, yet all equally pertinent to the practice of intellectual property law in the State of Georgia.

Intellectual property law comprises several discrete yet overlapping areas of law. The four primary areas of intellectual property law historically are patent law, trademark law, copyright law, and trade secret law. As the basis for patent law and copyright law are provided for in the United States Constitution, these statutes and cases are based in federal law and are for the most part litigated in federal courts. As trademark law and trade secret law have both federal and state aspects, the statutes and cases regarding these areas are based on federal or state law, and these statutes and cases are litigated in federal and state courts. All statutes, cases, and events that touch upon intellectual property are not included, but instead, selected drivers that are of more significance or interest or that may indicate a particular direction in the relevant areas of law are covered. While the drivers discussed often have multiple issues, only the more relevant or interesting intellectual property issues are discussed.