Volume 4 (1996) / Issue 4
After explaining the international framework for intellectual property protection – with particular reference to trademarks – the article focusses more closely on the European position. The measures for harmonisation of trademarks and other related marks are explained. These include a directive on the harmonisation of national trademark laws, which harmonises certain aspects of substantive law but leaves matters of procedure unharmonised, and a regulation establishing a Community Trademark which can be obtained through the Trademark Office in Alicante, Spain. The procedures for obtaining, opposing and cancelling a Community Trademark are detailed as well as the main features of the substantive law system under the Regulation and Directive. The remainder of the article then discusses certain important areas. The Regulation and Directive have provisions on the protection of well-known marks or marks having a reputation. The meaning of this is considered from a comparative standpoint. Finally the problems arising in relation to the clash between free movement of goods and the protection of intellectual property rights are analyzed with particular reference to the case law of the European Court.
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