Famous Names as Trade Marks - Part 2
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If a person or group is defunct the name is more likely to be seen by
consumers as merely an historical reference to the subject matter of the goods
or services, rather than to the trade source of the goods. However, each such
case must be judged on its own facts taking account of the length of time that
has passed since the person concerned died, or the group became defunct, and the
relationship (if any) between the goods/services in the application and those
associated with the dead person or defunct group .
The name of a famous person or group may serve to identify the trade source
of badges of allegiance (including T-shirts, mugs, scarves etc) even if the
possibility of other traders producing unofficial merchandise cannot be ruled
out. Consequently, such marks will normally be accepted for such goods unless
there is a particular reason to believe that the mark in question cannot fulfil
the function of a trade mark, for example, the names of some members of the
Royal Family may be incapable of performing a trade mark function for such goods
because of the widespread historical trade in Royal souvenirs.
Famous persons or groups may serve as trade marks for printed publications,
recorded sounds, films, videos, TV programs, musical performances etc as use of
the mark on such goods or services would be likely to imply some form of control
of, or guarantee from, the holder. Consequently, there will not usually be an
objection to the registration of a famous name for these goods. The name of a
famous person or group is likely to be perceived as merely descriptive of the
subject matter of posters, photographs, transfers and figurines. Names of famous
persons or groups are therefore unlikely to be accepted by consumers as trade
marks for these goods because they will usually be seen as mere descriptions of
the subject matter of the product.
is a Trainee Solicitor with Lawdit Solicitors.
About the Author
Lawdit Solicitors offer services and
advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal
agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on
Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the
International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court
Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign
association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-07-27 14:41:27 in Legal Articles