Country Correspondent

Our Country Correspondents, leading firms from countries across the globe, take a detailed look at specific topics affecting trademark owners.

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Issue 8

July/August 2007

Non-traditional trademarks

Issue #8
  • The impact of recent Australian case law on colour marks

    Non-traditional trademarks have been registrable in A ustralia since the Trademarks Act 1995 came into force. However, recent decisions of Australian courts indicate that many issues relating to the definition, scope and enforceability of these highly coveted marks remain unclear read more

  • Non-traditional trademarks in Mexico

    Although Mexican law appears not to recognize non-traditional marks, on closer examination certain types of non-traditional mark enjoy full trademark protection in Mexico, provided that they fulfil specific criteria. Where the trademark law does not cover such marks, it may be possible to find alternative protection under other legal measures read more

  • Benelux approach to non-traditional marks

    The Benelux countries, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, have uniform trademark and design laws, and a harmonized approach to the protection of non-traditional marks. As members of the European Union, the practice of the Benelux countries in this area is also highly influenced by EU law read more

  • The tradition of non-traditional trademarks in Germany

    Even before the implementation of the EU First Trad emarks Directive in Germany in 1995, the German courts and the Patent and Trademark Office had begun to establish a tradition of registering and defending non-traditional marks. However, the use of such marks has challenged German trademark practice and raised new questions to be answered by the courts read more

  • Non-traditional trademarks in the Community trademark system

    Modern EU trademark law offers, in theory, the possibility of registering shape, sound or colour marks, but applicants will face hurdles such as graphical representation and proving acquired distinctiveness read more

  • The sound of unconventional marks in the United States

    There are very few limitations, in principle, to what can be registered and protected as a trademark under US law. However, tests showing that the sign is a source identifier, is not functional and is distinctive must be met read more

  • Italy's cautious approach to non-conventional trademarks

    Marilena Garis, Jacobacci & Partners, Italy

    As in all EU jurisdictions, trademark law in Italy recognizes the registrability of shape, colours and sound marks in principle, but case law so far indicates a guarded approach to the registration of non-conventional marks by the national IP office and the courts read more

Issue 6

March/April 2007

Issue #6
  • Enforcement

    Many countries have similar systems for the registration and enforcement of trademarks. However, there will inevitably be differences, often borne out of the different jurisprudential bases on which these systems are based. This article looks at trademark enforcement in Australia and highlights some aspects of the Australian legislation which differ from the US system. It also examines the main border protection methods available in Australia to trademark owners read more