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Is There a Right to an Immoral Trade Mark?

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND HUMAN RIGHTS, P. Torremans, ed., Kluwer Law International, pp. 309-334, 2008

18 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2009 Last revised: 10 May 2010

Jonathan Griffiths

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

Date Written: October 21, 2009

Abstract

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,

Keywords: trade marks, trademark, trademarks, immoral, public policy, scandalous, freedom of expression, European Convention on Human Rights, free speech, absolute grounds for refusal h

Suggested Citation

Griffiths, Jonathan, Is There a Right to an Immoral Trade Mark? (October 21, 2009). INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND HUMAN RIGHTS, P. Torremans, ed., Kluwer Law International, pp. 309-334, 2008 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1492117

Jonathan Griffiths (Contact Author)

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

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