Journal Article

Human rights and trade mark rights

Alan Fiddes

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 1, issue 5, pages 349-353
Published in print April 2006 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online March 2006 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI:
Human rights and trade mark rights

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Legal context. For some time the UK Trade Marks Registry has refused to register trade marks which consists of the name of a well-known individual. This article examines whether the practice is permissible, not in the terms of intellectual property law but whether it is in contravention of the applicant's human rights.

Key points. Looking at the application of the Human Rights Act in the United Kingdom, the article asks how it could apply to an intellectual property case, concluding that the Trade Mark Registry is clearly a ‘public authority’ and that there are a number of ways in which current practice in respect of well-known individuals could be said to infringe their human rights.

Practical significance. It remains to be seen what the Registry's response will be to such arguments and whether it might in the future be possible to obtain protection for the name of a celebrity.

Journal Article.  3076 words. 

Subjects: Arbitration ; Intellectual Property Law

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