NYTimes Obituary: Steven Bazerman

Steven H. Bazerman, Who Extended Intellectual Property Law, Dies at 63

Companies today understand the value of such details as the shape of a bottle or the position of a label on a pair of pants. But the idea that these details could be protected under trademark law was largely untested until Mr. Bazerman began taking product imitators to court in the 1980’s.

His legal work helped to build a body of case law around “secondary meaning,” which Mr. Bazerman said could include the unwritten, unspoken signals about a product’s origin that are given off by its appearance.