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The Territoriality of United States Trademark Law


Graeme W. Austin


Victoria University of Wellington


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND INFORMATION WEALTH, Peter Yu, ed., Praeger Press, 2007
Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 06-20
Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 28/2013

Abstract:     
As commerce becomes progressively globalized, and communication networks enable firms to disseminate information about their trademarks more cheaply and efficiently, it becomes increasingly important for firms and their advisors to understand the geographical scope and limitations of legal rights attaching to trademarks. Basic to trademark law, the territoriality principle characterizes trademark rights as owning their legal existence to the sovereign powers of individual nations. Today, however, neither the worldview of consumers, nor the sensory information that influences how these worldviews get formed can easily be confined within domestic borders. Focusing primarily on U.S. law, this paper surveys the doctrine on the territoriality of trademarks in both domestic and cross-border contexts, and discusses two principal exceptions to territoriality: enforcement of trademark rights abroad under U.S. trademark law; and enforcement within the United States of trademark rights first established in foreign territories. This paper will be published as a chapter in INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND INFORMATION WEALTH, (Peter Yu ed., Praeger Press, forthcoming 2007), which aims to introduce key intellectual property concepts to a general readership.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: trademark, territoriality principle, enforcement of trademark rights, globalization

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Date posted: April 13, 2006 ; Last revised: May 28, 2013

Suggested Citation

Austin, Graeme W., The Territoriality of United States Trademark Law. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND INFORMATION WEALTH, Peter Yu, ed., Praeger Press, 2007; Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 06-20; Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 28/2013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=896620

Contact Information

Graeme W. Austin (Contact Author)
Victoria University of Wellington ( email )
PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand
HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/law/staff/graeme-austin.asp

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