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European Intellectual Property Law

European Intellectual Property Law (2nd edn)

Justine Pila and Paul Torremans
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date: 27 May 2024

p. 34314. Registration and Use of the Trade Marklocked

p. 34314. Registration and Use of the Trade Marklocked

  • Justine PilaJustine PilaFellow and Senior Law Tutor of St Catherine’s College, Oxford; Research Fellow of the Institute of European and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford
  •  and Paul L.C. TorremansPaul L.C. TorremansProfessor of Intellectual Property Law, University of Nottingham


This chapter discusses the acquisition of a trade mark. EU law distinguishes between the product or service to which the trade mark is applied on the one hand, and the trade mark on the other hand. One needs first of all to be in the presence of a sign, something that can be applied to the product or service and that can convey information. The cornerstone of the matter is that the sign should be distinctive as to origin. The main objective of trade mark law is to enable rights holders and consumers to distinguish the source of identical goods or services with a different origin. The remainder of the chapter covers unregistrable marks, absolute grounds for refusal of registration, relative grounds for refusal of registration, applying for a Community trade mark, and uses of trade marks.

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