International Trademark Association honors two ND Law students

Author: Amanda Gray

2019 Inta Canahai Song

Two Notre Dame Law School students, Doori Song and Caitlin Canahai, continued a recent streak of honors from the International Trademark Association.

The INTA selected Song, a third-year law student at Notre Dame Law School, to receive the Ladas Memorial Award. Established in memory of Stephen P. Ladas, distinguished practitioner and author in the intellectual property field, the award goes to one professional and two students each year for exceptional work in trademark law.

This is the second year in a row that a Notre Dame Law student was selected for the Ladas Award. Michelle Smit ’18 J.D. received the award last year.

Song’s paper, Blackhorse’s Last Stand?: The First Amendment Battle Against the Washington “Redskins” Trademark After Matal v. Tam, focuses on whether the registration of the “Redskins” trademark should be invalidated on the ground the mark is immoral or scandalous in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Matal v. Tam and recent grant of certiorari in Iancu v. Brunetti. He wrote the article during his third year of law school with Professor Ed Edmonds, and the Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law selected it for publication in its upcoming volume.

“It is an honor to be selected for the Ladas Memorial Award,” said Song. “I enjoyed writing the article because it concerns issues I am very passionate about: the First Amendment, intellectual property, sports law, and pressing social concerns. I would like to thank Professor Edmonds for his help on the article.”

Song will graduate in May, and plans to join Thompson Hine LLP in Cleveland, Ohio, as an associate in the fall. Outside of the classroom, Song serves as brief writer selection chair for the Moot Court Board, brief writer for the ABA Moot Court team, and articles editor for the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.

Canahai, also a third-year law student, was one of just two students selected to join the International Trademark Association’s 2019 Trademark Scholarship Symposium, presenting her paper Trademark Law in the Age of Alexa in May in Boston.

Canahai is the third Notre Dame Law student chosen in three years for the symposium. Veronica Canton ’18 J.D. was selected for the 2017 symposium, and Smit — the previous Ladas Award winner mentioned above — was selected for the 2018 symposium.

Twelve papers, including two from students, are chosen for the symposium each year from applicants all over the world. Canahai’s paper focuses on how the rise of voice shopping and voice searching — on voice-assistant devices like Amazon's Alexa or Google Home — might impact trademark law.

“I’m very honored and excited to be participating in INTA’s symposium,” Canahai said. “I have developed a passion for intellectual property law while here at Notre Dame. I am excited to get the opportunity to discuss my paper with the trademark community at the symposium.”

Canahai will graduate in May, with plans to join DLA Piper’s Chicago office as an associate in the fall. At Notre Dame Law School, she serves as executive managing editor for the Law Review, president for the Intellectual Property Law Society, and vice president for the LGBT Law Forum. 

Mark McKenna, John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law, said Song and Canahai are great examples of the excellence he’s come to see from Notre Dame Law School’s intellectual property and technology law students.

“We’re extremely proud of Doori and Caitlin. Our IP students continue to excel, and we’re very pleased they’re being recognized for their accomplishments,” McKenna said. “Our graduates will be leaders in the field, and we look forward to seeing them grow.”