The EU trade mark system’s lost sense of humour.

Forthcoming in (2024) 1 Intellectual Property Quarterly Journal 1

23 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2024 Last revised: 27 Mar 2024

See all articles by Sabine Jacques

Sabine Jacques

University of Liverpool, School of Law & Social Justice, Students

Date Written: December 8, 2023

Abstract

This article examines the use of EU registered trade mark signs by businesses, artists, advocacy groups, individuals, and politicians, with the aim of diverting these signs from their original meaning to create new expressions. Using empirical methods, the article evaluates how national courts handle trade mark parody cases, identifying instances of judicial pragmatism and highlighting remaining areas of contention. While some jurisdictions have introduced tests to safeguard parodic expressions, legal changes are incremental, necessitating further legislative intervention. Such intervention would contribute to the harmonisation goals within the European Union and demonstrate a stronger commitment to the right to freedom of expression. Finally, this article offers interpretative guidance for a fair and consistent treatment of humorous uses under trade mark legislation to ensure that the rights of trade mark holders and others’ interests are protected, whilst allowing true parodies and related genres to flourish.

Keywords: Intellectual property law, freedom of expression, parody, satire, trade marks, EU law

Suggested Citation

Jacques, Sabine, The EU trade mark system’s lost sense of humour. (December 8, 2023). Forthcoming in (2024) 1 Intellectual Property Quarterly Journal 1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4684778

Sabine Jacques (Contact Author)

University of Liverpool, School of Law & Social Justice, Students ( email )

Liverpool
United Kingdom

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