Journal Article

Marks as imitations of State emblems ‘from a heraldic point of view’

Grzegorz Pacek

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 4, issue 9, pages 673-679
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jiplp/jpp112
Marks as imitations of State emblems ‘from a heraldic point of view’

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Legal context

The flags, armorial bearings or other state emblems, as well as official signs or hallmarks are not registrable as trade marks according to Article 6ter of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 20 March 1883, as well as eg article 7(1)(h) of CTMR. However, the problem is not with the plain duplication of such symbols, but with making ‘imitation’ and what is more—the imitation ‘from the heraldic point of view’.

Key points

Key questions are what is the aim of such laws, what is the importance of heraldry principles, and how ‘imitation’ should be interpreted.

Practical significance

Increasing numbers of entrepreneurs seek to register their signs. They sometimes do not seek to make references to national symbols, but wish to promote their nationality or affiliation to smaller group. By analysing both EU and USA legislation and rulings, the author seeks to explore whether this is possible.

Journal Article.  5069 words. 

Subjects: Arbitration ; Intellectual Property Law

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