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Marlan, Dustin

Clinical Fellow
Community and Economic Development Clinic

2032 South Hall

Professor Dustin Marlan is a clinical teaching fellow in the University of Michigan Law School's Community and Economic Development Clinic, where he leads the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project—a new clinic initiative aimed at providing transactional legal services to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the city of Detroit. He presently serves on the steering committee for the U-M Task Force on Campus Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Professor Marlan’s recent scholarship examines the use and interpretation of visual images in both intellectual property law and legal pedagogy. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Washington Law Review and the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.

Prior to joining the Michigan Law faculty, Professor Marlan was an associate in the Seattle office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC, where he counseled startups and nonprofits in matters including trademarks, copyrights, advertising, and intellectual property and technology licensing and transactions. He previously worked as a commercial law and intellectual property attorney at K&L Gates LLP and, prior to law school, as a trademark paralegal at Finnegan LLP. Professor Marlan earned his JD, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his BA from Indiana University Bloomington. While at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, he was a senior editor of the Journal of Constitutional Law and a member of the Legislative Clinic, during which he served as a legislative intern to U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey Jr.

Recent Publications

Reflection Beyond Words. Working Paper.

"Visual Metaphor and Trademark Distinctiveness." Wash. L. Rev. (Forthcoming 2018).
Full Text: SSRN


Steering committee, University of Michigan Task Force on Campus Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and co-chair, Subcommittee on Equity and Inclusion, September 2017 to present.

Invited presenter, "Visual Metaphor and Trademark Distinctiveness," Seventh Annual IP Scholars' Roundtable, Frank Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, University of New Hampshire School of Law, Concord, New Hampshire, October 2017.

Participant, "Deep Metaphors as Vehicles for Reflective Lawyering," Clinical Law Review Writer's Workshop, New York University School of Law, New York, September 2017.

Presenter, "Deep Metaphors as Vehicles for Reflective Lawyering," University of Michigan Law School Clinical Faculty Works in Progress Series, June 2017.

Selected participant, "Visual Metaphor and the Distinctiveness of Images in Trademark Law," Ninth Annual Junior Scholars in Intellectual Property Workshop, Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, May 2017.

Presenter, "Visual Metaphor and the Distinctiveness of Images in Trademark Law," 2017 American Association of Law Schools Annual Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Denver, May 2017.

Co-presenter, "U of M Legal Matters for Small Businesses Workshop," ProsperUS Detroit Small Business Workshop Series, Detroit, February 2017.

Guest speaker, Workshop for Early-Stage Social Entrepreneurs, University of Detroit Mercy Center for Social Entrepreneurship Boost Program, Detroit, December 2016.

Presenter, "Build Next—Small Business Taxes & Financials Workshop," Build Institute, Detroit, October 2016.

Presenter, "Navigating the Labyrinth: Regulations and New Developments in Contests, Sweepstakes, and Promotions Law," King County Bar Association, CLE Presentation and Webinar, Seattle, June 2016.