Loyola University Chicago

Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies

School of Law

Brands, Competition, and the Law

An Interdisciplinary Conference Sponsored by
the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies,
Loyola University Chicago School of Law,
and the Centre for Law, Economics and Society (CLES) at University College London

October 19, 2012


Loyola University Chicago School of Law,
Room 1403, Corboy Law Center,
25 E. Pearson, Chicago, IL 60611

This program has been approved for 5.0 Hours of Illinois Continuing Legal Education Credit

Download Course Materials 

Brands matter. In modern times, brands and brand management have become a central feature of the modern economy and a staple of business theory and business practice. Coca-Cola, Nike, Google, Disney, Apple, Microsoft, BMW, Marlboro, IBM, Kellogg’s, Louis-Vuitton, and Virgin are all large companies, but they are also brands that present powerful, valuable tools for business. Business is fully aware of that power and value.

Contrary to the law’s conception of trademarks, brands are used to indicate far more than source and/or quality. Indeed those functions are far down on the list of what most businesses want for their brands. Brands allow businesses to reach consumers directly with messages regarding emotion, identity, and self-worth such that consumers are no longer buying a product but buying a brand. Businesses pursue that strategy to move beyond price, product, place, and position and create the idea that a consumer should buy a branded good or service at a higher price than the consumer might otherwise pay.

Branding explicitly contemplates reducing or eliminating price competition as the brand personality cannot be duplicated. In addition, this practice can be understood as a product differentiation tactic which allows a branded good to turn a commodity into a special category that sees higher margins compared to the others in that market space. In other words, brands have important effects on competition and the marketplace.

The aim of this conference is to reflect on the legal, business, and economic understanding of brands by explaining what brands are, how they function, and the role brands play in business competition. The conference will also delve into specific issues raised by branding in the 21st century business competition, such as the challenges raised by online business and the increasing role of private labels in distribution.


List of Participants

Deven Desai, Associate Professor, Thomas Jefferson Law School
Kirsten Edwards-Warren, Director of Economics, Office of Fair Trading, UK
Phil Evans, FIPRA International
Warren Grimes, Professor, Southwestern Law School
Greg Gundlach, Distinguished Professor of Marketing, University of North Florida Business School
James Langenfeld, Managing Director, Navigant Economics
Ioannis Lianos, Reader in Competition Law and Economics, University College London
Deborah Majoras, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary, The Procter & Gamble Company
Mark McKenna, Professor Law, Notre Dame Law School
John D. Mittelstaedt, Chair, Department of Management and Marketing, University of Wyoming College of Business
John Noble, Director, British Brands Group
Barak Orbach, Professor Law, University of Arizona James E. Rodgeres College of Law
Joan Phillips, Associate Professor, Quinlan School of Business and Director of Integrated Marketing Program, Loyola University Chicago
Matthew Sag, Associate Professor and Associate Director, Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Eliot Schreiber, COO Cloverleaf Innovation
Spencer Weber Waller, Professor and Director, Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, Loyola University Chicago School of Law



9:00 am Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30 am Welcome- Spencer Weber Waller, Loyola University Chicago
9:40 am Brands and Price Theory

Chair, Ioannis Lianos, UCL
Brands and EU Competition Law: More Sword Than Shield

James Langenfeld, Navigant Economics
Bayer or Walgreen’s? The Relationship of Premium and Value Brands

Kirsten Edwards-Warren, Office of Fair Trading, UK
Brands: An Introduction to Their Competitive Effects

Phil Evans, FIPRA International
Brands, Cross-Border Competition and the Law of One Price
11:00 am Coffee Break
11:15 am Brands and Business Theory

Chair, Joan Phillips, Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago

John Noble, BBG
Individuals, Markets and Business Competitiveness

Greg Gundlach, UNF
A Marketing Perspective on Brands in Antitrust

Eliot Schreiber, Cloverleaf Innovation, Commentator
12:30 pm Buffet Lunch
1:00 pm

Brands and Competition Law

Chair, Spencer Weber Waller, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Antitrust’s Brand Blindness

Barak Orbach, Arizona
Branding Preferences and Antitrust Premises

Warren Grimes, Southwestern
The Paradox of Brand Selling: Weighing Procompetitive and Anticompetitive Effects

Deborah Majoras, The Procter & Gamble Company, Commentator

2:30 pm Brands and IP Law

Chair, Matthew Sag, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Deven Desai, Thomas Jefferson Law School
Networks, Information, and Brands

Mark McKenna, Notre Dame Law School
Brand Mercantilism

John D. Mittelstaedt, University of Wyoming
Trademark Dilution and the Management of Brands
3:45 pm Closing Remarks and Reception



Registration Fees and Information

For Those Seeking Illinois Continuing Legal Education Credit

Free Current LUC Faculty, Staff, Students, and Members of the Institute Advisory Board
$ 75 Government and Public Interest Attorneys
$130 Loyola University Chicago School of Law Alumni
$155 All Others
Attendance without ICLE Credit


Free LUC Students, Staff, Professors, and Members of the Institute Advisory Board
$50 All Others


For additional information please contact Professor Spencer Waller at swalle1@luc.edu or Ms. Chris Nemes at cnemes@luc.edu.