Professor Edward Lee’s article The Global Trade Mark (35 U. Pa. J. Int’l L. 917 (2014)) has been selected by the Intellectual Property Law Review as one of the best intellectual property articles of 2014. The article will appear in the 2015 edition of the Intellectual Property Law Review’s annual anthology, published by Thomson Reuters (West).
Read an abstract of the article below, or download at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1804985.
This Article offers a proposal for World Trade Organization (WTO) countries to adopt global intellectual property rights for a special class of trademarks: famous or well-known marks. Well-known marks are well-suited for greater departure from the territoriality principle, given the transnational protections for well-known marks that already exist under the Paris Convention and TRIPS Agreement. This Article proposes creating a Global Trademark (GTM) for well-known marks, to be governed by one, uniform international law. The GTM will span all countries in the WTO. The GTM is inspired, in part, by the Community Trade Mark (CTM) in the European Union, the first truly transnational intellectual property form. While the CTM is regional in scope, the GTM will be international.
This Article proceeds in five Parts. Part I discusses the theory behind the Global Trade Mark (GTM) and why it is worth adopting today. Part II discusses the outlines of the proposed Global Trade Mark Treaty, whose signal feature will be to establish a uniform body of international law to govern the GTM and an International Court of the GTM to resolve conflicts over its interpretation. Part III discusses the two Pathways by which a trademark can be registered as a GTM: (1) international registration of an existing famous mark that is famous in a certain threshold number of countries (here under a proposed Rule of 7 countries, the formula of which is discussed below), or (2) an “intent-to-develop” registration of a mark an owner intends to make famous under the Rule of 7 countries within a prescribed time of 10 years. Part IV discusses enforcement of GTMs in national courts and post-registration issues, including abandonment and genericide. Part V addresses objections.