Course contents

Law and marketing; customer profiling and database management; law and economics of franchising; competition rules and distribution agreements; trademarks protection; unfair competition; industrial design.

Extended program

Week 1: Introduction to the course. Law and marketing. Target marketing and customer profiling. Database management: privacy and data use. (Pardolesi)

Week 2: The economics of trademarks: the economic function and the social costs of trademarks. Type of marks. Requirements for protection. (Colangelo)

Week 3: Conventional and non-conventionale trademarks: logos, packages, product design, trade dress, shapes, colors, sound, smell. Functionality doctrine. (Colangelo)

Week 4: Confusion-based liability: the factors analysis for likelihood of confusion. Non-confusion-based liability: the protection of well-known trademarks; dilution by tarnishment and blurring. (Colangelo)

Week 5: Secondary liability: contributory infringement and keyword advertising. Limitations on rights: fair use and first sale doctrine. (Colangelo)

Week 6: Trade identity rights in one’s persona: right of publicity and protectable aspects of persona. Domain names: protection against cybersquatting and grabbing. (Colangelo)

Week 7: Design law: requirements and cumulative effect with other property rights. (Colangelo)

Week 8: Midterm test. Principles of antitrust law and economics. Platforms, two- and multi-sided markets. Sharing economy. (Pardolesi)

Week 9: The law and economics of franchising. Vertical integration and methods of distribution. Agency and independent distributors. (Pardolesi)

Week 10: Competition rules and distribution agreements. Abuse of economic dependence. Vertical agreements Regulation. (Pardolesi)

Week 11: Territorial protection. Resale price maintenance. Selective distribution agreements. Non-compete obligations. Refusal to supply and export bans. (Pardolesi)

Week 12: Exploitative and exclusionary pricing policies: price discrimination; predatory pricing; most favoured nation (MFN) clause, price matching and English clause; discounts and rebates; tying and bundling. (Pardolesi)


Teaching method: frontal teaching, seminars, interactive discussion, case studies. Professionals from corporations and international law firms will partecipate to the course giving seminars on specific topics. 

Assessment method: midterm test, case study presentations; written exam (open book).

Criteria for assigning the Master thesis: relevance of the topic proposed.