10 Jun 2017

Auntie Jane's Trade Mark Tips: No. 3 - Where to find the Law

Wildy's Book Shop
Photo Elisa Rolle
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 international licence
Source  Wikipedia
























Jane Lambert

Obviously, you find law in a law book and you find law books at a legal bookseller.  And here's a picture of one that is nearly 200 years old. Wildy & Sons positioned strategically between the Royal Courts of Justice and the barristers and other legal professionals of Lincoln's Inn is one of the sights of London. It is almost next door to The Seven Stars, one of the best and oldest pubs in London.

But I digress.  This is what you could ask for were you ever to visit Wildy's.

In Auntie Jane's Trade Mark Tips No 2, I told you about Briitish trade marks which protect brands in the UK only and EU trade marks which protect them throughout the whole of the European Union including the UK.

The law that governs British trade marks is the Trade Marks Act 1994. That Act has been amended several times since it was first enacted and you can find a convenient though unofficial consolidation on the IPO website at Unofficial Consolidated versionTrade Mark Act 1994 as amended.  The Act allows ministers to make rules for the operation of the Act which you will find in Consolidated Trade Mark Rules on the same website.  Our Act was passed to give effect to the Trade Mark Directive (Directive 2008/95/EC) which is the ultimate source of our trade mark legislation.

The law that governs EU trade marks is Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 of 26 Feb 2009 ("the EU Trade Mark Regulation"). If you compare the Regulation with the Directive you will find many similarities. That is not surprising because both sets of legislation were made by the European Council and both need to comply with international agreements such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ("TRIPS").

From time to time disputes arise as to the meaning and effect of the above legislation which sometimes go to court. The ultimate authority, while we remain in the EU, is the Court of Justice of the European Union and the General Court but important decisions are also made by our Supreme Court, the Senior Courts of England and Wales, their equivalents in Scotland and Northern Ireland and IPO hearing officers.  You will find most of the relevant decisions on the British and Irish Legal Information Institute ("BAILII") website.

That's all folks. Have a good weekend.

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