Lauren M. Ingram Examines Cultural Misappropriation and Available Protections in The Trademark Reporter


In The Trademark Reporter, Lauren M. Ingram analyzed cultural misappropriation in the United States and the lack of available preventive measures under the law.

Throughout the article, “Cultural Misappropriation: What Should the United States Do?” Lauren outlined the difference between cultural appropriation and misappropriation, examining the common confusion between the two and the inability to restrict cultural products and practices to a source community.

With few laws around the subject, Lauren explained many look to the copyright system to resolve cultural misappropriation claims through the use of collective marks and certification marks. The current U.S. copyright system, however, does not account for cultural products not used within commerce.

To improve the legal options available to resolve cultural misappropriation claims, Lauren stated the United States must clarify cultural misappropriation’s definition and recognize such claims outside of the current systems.

“If the United States could incorporate a concise definition of cultural misappropriation, that would be the first step to identify effective legal solutions to cultural misappropriation, instead of the alternative of trying to remedy the claims within the copyright and trademark system,” Lauren said.

Read the full article here.

Lauren is an associate in the firm’s Intellectual Property and Business Law Transactions practice groups. Utilizing experiences gained while completing her LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law from American University Washington College of Law and her J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, she provides business resolutions to achieve clients’ best possible outcomes.

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