22 Mar 2019
Like any proprietor wishing to protect its trademark rights, those adopting marks having “shock value” may also create valuable rights and wish to pursue stronger, enforceable trademark rights through registration. These parties have faced obstacles as IP offices in various countries enforce the provisions of their trademark laws that relate to immoral or scandalous marks. Arguments related to “free speech” have often been used as a defense.
11 May 2018
It is now a requirement in Iraq to make a request for examination, which appears to involve a search, prior to filing a trademark application. If the examination results are clear, an application can be filed together with the examination results, and the application will be accepted and proceed to publication immediately. If the results are not clear, an application can still be filed, however, it appears that an appeal will be necessary to try to overcome the negative aspects of the examination report.
8 Feb 2018
There has been lots of activity on disparaging marks in the United States and Canada. Most notable is the US Supreme Court decision in the Slants case dealing with the “disparagement” provisions of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. Other cases dealing with the "immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter” provisions of Section 2(a) are also making their way through the courts in the US. In Canada, there have been several cases before the courts and Human Rights Tribunals dealing with names and logos of sports teams. This article briefly looks at the outcome of these specific cases, as well as provisions of the Canadian Trademarks Act relevant to disparaging marks.