Jose Bellido – Merchandising revisited

Thursday 4 April 2019, 18:00, Room EB 206

This lecture traces the rise of merchandising as a distinct and independent commercial and legal practice in the United Kingdom. While intellectual property textbooks often discuss merchandising activities, their focus is primarily on specific cases and legislative developments in the distinct branches of intellectual property, mainly copyright, passing off and trade mark law. What is less often stressed there is the historicity of the practice as such and the changing conditions for its emergence. The lecture discusses the specific relation between law and marketing that arose with the earliest days of television. The arrival of commercial television facilitated and stabilised some contractual practices between commercial agencies and sectors such as the toy, publishing and food industries, eager to capitalise on the new medium. In conclusion, the lecture reflects on what this trade shared (or not) with character merchandising of the early days of the film industry, to provide a deeper historical understanding of a twentieth century intellectual property phenomenon.

Jose Bellido is Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent Law School.