Protection of Trade Marks: Online Use and Anticybersquatting – A European Perspective

Another report from CMS Cameron McKenna’s Law-Now group. This 130 page report includes a reference guide providing a country-by-country perspective for 15 European countries and is available for free download from the Law-Now website, although registration may be required. The introduction to the report is as follows:
Trade marks are essential for building business reputations in the modern business world. They enable customers to identify goods and services and develop brand loyalty. Trade marks also strengthen the effectiveness of advertising. Over time, trade marks develop their own brand identity independent of the goods and services they promote. This is particularly relevant as trade marks are increasingly promoted and used in modern media, such as the Internet.Trade marks on the Internet may be used to distinguish the goods and services of one undertaking from those of another, or without reference to relevant goods and services. When trade marks are used in relation to specific goods or services on the Internet, trade mark infringement can be dealt with in much the same way as it would be in any other media. Problems arise when trade marks are used on the Internet without any reference to the goods or services to which they relate. Not all countries have legislation which allows trade mark owners to protect their trade marks against such unauthorised use.Trade marks can be used on the Internet without reference to goods and services in domain names, links, metatags, pop-up ads, framing and spam messages. Such use of trade marks may be either legally justified or constitute trade mark infringement. Whether infringement has occurred will depend on the purpose and intention of the use of the mark, and the likely impact on the trade mark holder’s business.This publication serves to highlight the ways in which trade marks can be infringed on the Internet, methods of protecting trade marks, and importantly, how trade mark holders can assert their rights. As the technology evolves, the ways in which trade marks can be infringed keep developing and changing, presenting trade mark holders seeking to protect their rights with new challenges. This publication provides guidance on the relevant law in a number of EU member states as well as in Switzerland and Russia.To get your free copy of the report, go to www.law-now.com/law-now/2007/LNPprotectionoftrademarksonline20march2007.htm

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