The price of fame and well-known marks

By Lorraine Anne Tay and Oh Pin-Ping

The need to establish confusion in order for a mark to enjoy protection can mean that sometimes fame is more of a curse than a blessing

While many businesses devote a great deal of time and money to making their brands better known, there is a flipside to fame. Well-known brands are often the target of opportunistic copying and parodies, both online and offline. While there is increasing recognition that well-known marks are worthy of special protection, the question remains: how much? The issue is also subject to policy considerations, as legislative and judicial bodies seek to balance heavy investment in intellectual property against the need to maintain a healthy level of competition.

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Issue 74