I’m biased in reviewing the 6th edition of the only comprehensive single-volume —
Well, there you go. Bias number one: As far as I can tell, Siegrun Kane’s Kane on Trademark Law: A Practitioner’s Guide is the definitive comprehensive single volume on trademark practice. I have had my copy on hand at all times for over a decade. When I learned that it had been updated in May 2014, I was pretty excited.
Bias number two: I was excited because it was Siegrun Kane herself who mentioned it to me when I had the pleasure of seeing her, many years after we last worked together for a common client, early this year. That was when we both presented at the New York City Bar’s “Trademark Talk” CLE extravaganza, where she brought down the house. So that’s (2) and (3), I guess: We’re old colleagues, but although Siegrun is a legend in trademark law whereas I am something between a bad dream and a bit of gas, she is always unfailing gracious. (As is her husband, David, whose picture is right there on the Wikipedia entry for “gracious.”)
So I’m all biased up, because I’m predisposed to liking this work, having always done so, and because I got a free new review copy of the 6th Edition because Siegrun asked them to send it to me. But such bias is not, as we say in the trademark practitioner field, for nothing. You have to have this book.
Wait: Bias number four: I’m writing for lawyers who have, and want to have, and like to have, books. In other words, lawyers seriously interested in learning the answers to legal questions, and indeed identifying the right questions, thoroughly. If you think you can learn how to be good at this by just doing text searches on Westlaw and Lexis —
Well, you still need this book. Because it’s one volume, and it’s all in there. Perhaps it’s also in McCarthy’s treatise; but, frankly, who knows? McCarthy is massive, it’s expensive, it’s full of forms you probably don’t want or need; and it’s got rust all over it. Don’t get me wrong: McCarthy’s treatise an encyclopedia of trademark law, really; if you ever need to know gobs and gobs of cases standing for this, that or the other proposition under the Lanham Act, you will want to have access to McCarthy, which you can cite like a court case. It’s the black-letter dinosoropedia of trademark law.
But if you want to have one volume right at your side that allows you to scope out, in succinct, snappy prose organized along the lines that make sense in evaluating your client’s claims or defenses, this is the one.