The Protection of Non-Conventional Trademarks

In recent years, new types of signs have knocked on the door of trade mark protection. Colors, smells, sounds, moving images, have claimed that, alike more traditional signs such as denominations, logos, images, they too can fulfill the distinctive function of trade marks. After heated discussions and controversies, courts, IP offices and lawmakers have welcomed this expansion of the scope of trade mark right. Critical questions still remain though, such as the impact of such protection on freedom of competition or on other socially valuable uses of such signs, the market advantage enjoyed by holders of those non-traditional trademarks, and the risk of an ever-expanding trade mark field where everything under the sun could potentially be registered for someone’s exclusive benefit.

At the occasion of the publication of a collection of essays on non traditional trademarks (Oxford University Press, 2018), Irene Calboli and Martin Senftleben, the two editors of the book and recognized trademark experts, will provide an overview of the debate and issues surrounding such trademarks.



Séverine Dusollier, Professor of Law, Sciences Po Law School


Irene Calboli, Professor of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law
The Why, and Why-Not, of Non-Traditional Trademarks: Critical Perspectives from a Market Competition Standpoint


Martin Senftleben, Professor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Non-Traditional Trademarks in the Age of Character Merchandising and Cultural Heritage Branding: Critical Perspectives from a Cultural Standpoint

18h10 - Discussion Panel

Vincent Ruzek, Lawyer, EUIPO, International Cooperation and Legal Affairs Department (ICLAD), Litigation Service New Types of Marks : EUIPO’s Practice

Rebecca Delorey, Attorney-at-Law, Partner, Bardehle Pagenberg Selas
A View From a Lawyer’s Practice
A View From A Trademark Holder (to be confirmed)

18h45 - Overall discussion


Jane Ginsburg, Professor of Law, Columbia University
Conclusive Remarks

Important !

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Event details
Mardi, 4 Décembre, 2018 - 17:00 - 19:30
Sciences Po - 27 Rue Saint-Guillaume - Paris 7ème - Room Jannie de Clarens (1st floor)
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