Recommendation on Measures to Safeguard Freedom of Expression and Undistorted Competition in EU Trade Mark Law

European Intellectual Property Review 2015, 337-344

11 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2014 Last revised: 10 Feb 2016

See all articles by Martin Senftleben

Martin Senftleben

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam; University of Amsterdam

Lionel A. F. Bently

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Graeme B. Dinwoodie

Chicago-Kent College of Law

Christophe Geiger

Luiss Guido Carli University; Université de Strasbourg - CEIPI

Jonathan Griffiths

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

Annette Kur

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Ansgar Ohly

Ludwig Maximilian University Munich

Alexander Peukert

Goethe University Frankfurt - Faculty of Law

Marco Ricolfi

University of Turin - Faculty of Law

Jens Schovsbo

Centre for Information and Innovation Law (CIIR)

Katja Weckstrom (Lindroos)

University of Eastern Finland

Lukasz Zelechowski

University of Warsaw, Faculty of Law and Administration, Department of Intellectual Property Law

Date Written: September 15, 2014

Abstract

Whatever the protection afforded to trade marks, it must always be balanced against general interests, in particular the fundamental freedom of expression and the guarantee of undistorted competition, as reflected in the Lisbon Treaty, the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. The need for an appropriate balance is inherent in trade mark law. It is an issue of particular importance in the light of ongoing technological, economic and social developments, and of considerable complexity because of the diversity of legitimate interests of trade mark proprietors, consumers, competitors and the public at large.

Against this background, the Recommendation provides guidance on how to offer sufficient room for freedom of expression and freedom of competition in the envisaged new EU trade mark legislation. It addresses measures to be taken by legislators, trade mark registration offices and the courts at various stages: from the grant of trade mark rights and the analysis of trade mark infringement to limitations of trade mark protection and the appropriate distribution of the burden of proof.

Keywords: EU trade mark law, freedom of expression, freedom of competition, limitations of exclusive rights, need to keep free, referential use, Lisbon Treaty, Charter of Fundamental Rights, criticism, comment, parody, exhaustion, comparative advertising, functionality, due cause defence, honest practices

Suggested Citation

Senftleben, Martin and Bently, Lionel A. F. and Dinwoodie, Graeme B. and Geiger, Christophe and Griffiths, Jonathan and Kur, Annette and Ohly, Ansgar and Peukert, Alexander and Ricolfi, Marco and Schovsbo, Jens and Weckstrom, Katja G. and Zelechowski, Lukasz, Recommendation on Measures to Safeguard Freedom of Expression and Undistorted Competition in EU Trade Mark Law (September 15, 2014). European Intellectual Property Review 2015, 337-344, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2496351 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2496351

Martin Senftleben (Contact Author)

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam ( email )

Rokin 84
Amsterdam, 1012 KX
Netherlands

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, NE 1018 WB
Netherlands

Lionel A. F. Bently

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

Graeme B. Dinwoodie

Chicago-Kent College of Law ( email )

565 West Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661
United States

Christophe Geiger

Luiss Guido Carli University ( email )

Department of Law, Via Parenzo, 11
Rome, Roma 00198
Italy

Université de Strasbourg - CEIPI ( email )

Bâtiment LE CARDO, 7 Rue de l'Ecarlate
CS 20024
Strasbourg, 67082
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.ceipi.edu

Jonathan Griffiths

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

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

Annette Kur

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

Ansgar Ohly

Ludwig Maximilian University Munich ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 29
Munich, Bavaria 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.geistiges-eigentum.info

Alexander Peukert

Goethe University Frankfurt - Faculty of Law ( email )

Frankfurt
Germany

Marco Ricolfi

University of Turin - Faculty of Law ( email )

Italy

Jens Schovsbo

Centre for Information and Innovation Law (CIIR) ( email )

University of Copenhagen
Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, 2300
Denmark

Katja G. Weckstrom

University of Eastern Finland ( email )

PO Box 111
Joensuu, 80100
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://www.uef.fi/en/oikeustieteet/lindroos

Lukasz Zelechowski

University of Warsaw, Faculty of Law and Administration, Department of Intellectual Property Law ( email )

Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28
Warszawa, Pl-00681
Poland

HOME PAGE: http://zelechowski.edu.pl

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