Reading list: unregistered marks in the EU

Verena von Bomhard & Artur Geier, Unregistered Trademarks in EU Trademark Law, Trademark Reporter, May-June, 2017 Vol. 107 No. 3

Abstract: The European Union (“EU”) trademark system is based on registration. Nevertheless, the laws of the EU Member States also protect unregistered rights, and these can be held against the use and registration of later EU trademarks. The article provides an introduction to unregistered trademarks in the EU and their enforcement in proceedings before the EU Intellectual Property Office. 

Excerpt: “[T]he law relating to unregistered trademarks is vastly different from one Member State to another. Some Member States do not recognize unregistered marks at all (beyond Article 6bis Paris Convention); others require varying degrees of market recognition or goodwill to protect trademarks based on use, while Denmark alone within the EU provides protection based on simple use.”

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