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

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WTR 08

July/August 2007

Non-traditional trademarks

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • 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

  • 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

WTR 06

March/April 2007

  • 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

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