Is There a Right to an Immoral Trade Mark?
Queen Mary University of London, School of Law
October 21, 2009
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND HUMAN RIGHTS, P. Torremans, ed., Kluwer Law International, pp. 309-334, 2008
This chapter considers the influence of the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights upon United Kingdom and European trade mark law. It reviews a series of recent cases concerning the absolute ground for refusal of registration on grounds of immorality or public policy in which decision-makers have made explicit reference to Article 10. It demonstrates that it is now widely accepted that any refusal to register a mark on public policy/morality grounds constitutes an interference with the applicant's right to freedom of expression and therefore calls for justification under Article 10. It argues that Article 10 ought in fact to have a very limited role in such cases,
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: trade marks, trademark, trademarks, immoral, public policy, scandalous, freedom of expression, European Convention on Human Rights, free speech, absolute grounds for refusal hAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 25, 2009 ; Last revised: May 10, 2010
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