The Protection of Non-Traditional Trademarks: Critical Perspectives

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During the last decades, non-traditional marks have found their way into trademark registers worldwide. Against this background, the time has come to take stock. Which law and practice has evolved with regard to these marks? How do trademark offices and courts address the wide variety of issues—ranging from legal-doctrinal to competition-based and cultural concerns—that are raised by the inclusion of non-traditional marks in the trademark system? Which positions have evolved in the debate on the continuous expansion of the domain of trademark protection? Which repercussions does this expansion have on other branches of intellectual property protection and the intellectual property system as a whole? Offering a fresh, critical, and interdisciplinary analysis of the questions raised by the acceptance of non-traditional marks, this book provides an insightful academic—and at the same time practical—legal and economic review of the topic. Office and court decisions from different countries and regions serve as a starting point for a comparison of existing approaches to non-traditional marks. Providing a comprehensive overview of the status quo in different jurisdictions, the essays in this book offer a cutting-edge discussion of legal problems and solutions in the field of non-traditional marks. The analysis, however, goes far beyond specific questions of trademark law and practice. It places the issue in the broader context of fundamental rights, in particular freedom of competition and freedom of expression, and explores the impact on other fields of intellectual property, such as patent, copyright, and industrial designs law.

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Oxford University Press


Irene Calboli and Martin Senftleben