THE RUSH TO EFFICIENCY AND DIMINISHMENT OF TRADEMARKS
There has been a movement recently in some jurisdictions toward increasing the number of trademark registrations without any corollary consideration of the effectiveness of those registrations. The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market in the E.U. set the bar low by removing examination on relative grounds. In an effort to keep up with ever-increasing registration numbers in the E.U., the Intellectual Property Office in the U.K. has done away with examining applications for likelihood of confusion. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office is about to eliminate the need to use a mark in order to secure a registration. Inevitably, these practices cause registries to become crowded with confusingly similar marks or marks that do not reflect marketplace activity. This article, first published by Law360 on March 17, 2015, examines the so-called “dumbing down of trademarks” and its implications for the U.S.
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