Parody Exception: Why trademark owners should get the joke

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Abstract

Recent reforms saw the introduction of a parody exception into UK copyright law, and current debate calls for a similar parody exception in EU trade mark law. This article evaluates why there is a need for such specific exception and why recital 25 of the recast Trade Marks Directive might be insufficient. Despite the generally commercial nature of trade marks, a closer analysis reveals that trade marks owners’ rights have expanded to cover expressive uses of signs, including parody. The introduction of an exception allowing registered trade marks to be parodied would re-balance the protection afforded to signs to ensure that trade marks owners may still exercise their rights, but without causing disproportionate harm to the exercise of freedom of expression.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Intellectual Property Review
Volume38
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

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