- At times, governments may need to acquire private property to be used for governmental purposes. For example, when the government needs property to build a new school or a firehouse, or to construct a road or freeway, it may need to acquire the necessary property from private landowners. The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the government with this power. Private property can only be taken for public use. The Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires the government to compensate the property owner when it takes private property.
This process is called eminent domain
Find a story in the news about a case where the government took property from an individual and discuss whether it was legal or not. Share your personal thoughts on this practice.
- Pursuant to enabling statutes, two federal administrative agencies—the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—created the national do-not-call registry. The national do-not-call registry is a list that contains the personal telephone numbers of telephone users who have voluntarily placed themselves on this list, indicating that they do not want to receive unsolicited calls from commercial telemarketers. Commercial telemarketers are prohibited from calling phone numbers that have been placed on the do-not-call registry. Telemarketers must pay an annual fee to access the phone numbers on the registry so that they can delete those numbers from their solicitation lists. The national do-not-call registry restrictions apply only to telemarketers’ calls made by or on behalf of sellers of goods or services. Charitable and fundraising calls are exempt from the do-not-call registry’s restrictions. Persons who do not voluntarily place their phone numbers on the do-not-call registry may still receive unsolicited telemarketers’ calls.
Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc., and other telemarketers sued the FTC and the FCC in several lawsuits, alleging that their free speech rights were violated and that the do-not-call registry was unconstitutional. The FTC and FCC defended the list, arguing that unsolicited telemarketing calls constituted commercial speech that could properly be regulated by the government’s do-not-call registry’s restrictions. The separate lawsuits were consolidated for appeal. Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission, 358 F.3d 1228, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 2564 (United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 2004)
What is commercial speech?
Are unsolicited telemarketing calls commercial speech that is constitutionally regulated by the do-not-call registry restrictions?
Do telemarketers act ethically in calling persons with their promotions and sales pitches?
ourt held that the colour black when used on outboard boat motors serves a functional purpose, since the colour black is compatible with all other boat colours and also because the colour black makes the motor appear smaller. The first successful case of colour trademark was in the US. In Qualitex Co. v Jacobson Products Company, Inc. the petitioner company had been using a special shade of green-gold for their dry cleaning press pads since the 1950s. In 1989, Jacobson Products Co. started using a very similar shade of green-gold on its own press pads. Qualitex Co. got it’s shade of green-gold trademarked and also sued Jacobson for infringement. Another issue faced by colour marks is the possibility of there being litigation over shades of the same colour. A solution to this problem is designation of a colour using an internationally recognised identification code like Pantone as such codes are deemed to be precise and stable. The Pantone is a commercial system that designates specific shades numerically and categorises over thousand such shades by unique codes. Tiffany and Co.’s unique shade of blue ‘Tiffany Blue’ has been a registered trademark since 1998 and also has its own custom Pantone number – 1837, the year the company was founded. T-Mobile’s colour ‘Magenta’, Mattel’s ‘Barbie Pink’, UPS’s ‘Pullman Brown’ are some more examples of colour marks. India is yet to set precedence as far as colour marks are concerned. Smell Mark Smell marks or Olfactory marks rely on their distinct smell to remind the consumers of the source i.e. the brand or the manufacturer of the product. Once distinctive, a smell is one of the most powerful manners to differentiate the goods of one merchant from those of the other. Smell marks are one of the most difficult kind of marks to get registered. However, smell being so subjective, may be perceived differently by different people. The subjectivity of smell acts as a hindrance in its distinctiveness. Another issue is the difficulty in graphically representing smells. One way to represent a smell could be to orally describe it so precisely that it doesn’t get confused with any other smell, but this is quite an arduous task. Writing the chemical formula for the substance is problematic as the formula represents the substance and not the smell itself. Samples of the smell could be stored but these may either vanish over time or change their nature when exposed to certain external factors like heat and humidity. Another important thing to note is that the scent must neither originate from the goods itself nor be functional. Functionality Doctrine again plays a role here and if any smell has a functional use, the registration of which could lead to significant disadvantage to competitors, such smell may be disbarred from registration. However, there is no clear-cut definition for functionality. For example, the smell of lemon for garbage plastic bags; the smell itself can be distinctive, but it can also be functional because it can mask the smell of waste and garbage. Fashion house Chanel’s application to get its iconic perfume Chanel No. 5 trademarked was rejected as it was the essence of the product. The first scent mark to be granted in the US was for a “high impact, fresh, floral fragrance reminiscent of Plumeria blossoms” for “sewing thread and embroidery yarn.” There were four reasons for trade mark to be granted – (1) no one else in the market was producing scented threads and yarns; (2) the scent was an added feature and was neither functional nor inherent to the goods; (3) the scented feature was advertised and promoted; and (4) consumers had come to associate the goods with the manufacturer. Some other smell marks are Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.’s rose-scented tyres and Vennootschap onder Firma Senta Aromatic Marketing’s “smell of fresh cut grass” for tennis balls which has now lapsed. India is yet to set precedence as far as smell marks are concerned.>GET ANSWER