Die Verwechslungsgefahr im amerikanischem Markenrecht

Wie im deutschen Markenrecht auch, vgl. § 9 Abs. 1 Nr. 2 MarkenG, stellt auch im amerikanischen Markenrecht das Bestehen einer Verwechslungsgefahr mit einer anderen Marke ein Eintragungshindernis dar. Dies bedeutet, dass eine Marke bereits dann nicht eintragungsfähig ist, wenn nur die Gefahr besteht, dass es beim Publikum zur Verwechslung der neu einzutragenden Marke mit einer bereits eingetragenen Marke kommen kann.

Im amerikanischen Markenrecht ist das Eintragungshindernis der Verwechslungsgefahr im sogenannten Lanham Act geregelt. Title 15 United States Code Section 1052 (d) besagt, dass eine Marke dann nicht eingetragen werden darf, wenn sie einer beim amerikanischen Patent- und Markenamt bereits eingetragenen Marke oder einer in den Vereinigten Staaten zuvor benutzten Marke, deren Benutzung noch nicht wieder aufgegeben wurde, so sehr ähnelt, dass sie zu Verwirrung, Irrtum oder Täuschung führen kann, falls sie in Zusammenhang mit den vom Anmelder angegebenen Waren benutzt wird.

Die Frage, wann eine solche Ähnlichkeit gegeben ist, hatte der United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals in der für das amerikanische Markenrecht grundlegenden Entscheidung In re: E.I. DuPont DeNemours & Co, 476 F.2d 1357 (CCPA 1973) zu beantworten. [Read more...]

Avoiding trouble when choosing a Corporate Identity

Every company has a marketing plan.  Every company has a product to sell and every company sells their goods and services using a particular name.   Surprisingly few companies, however, consider the consequences of adopting and using the name they have chosen to identify themselves and their products before adopting the name and embarking on a marketing campaign.   Companies and individuals could save themselves the costs of removing their marketing materials from the market place, redoing their image and marketing strategy and/or payment of damages if they completed a  trademark search before building their marketing campaign.

Tradenames / Trademarks/ Service marks:

Trade names are the names by which corporations are identified.  Examples of well known corporate names are Proctor and Gamble Company, Microsoft, Inc., and Coca Cola, Inc.  Although these names may also be used to identify products, they are the terms by which the company is identified in the work place.

Trademarks are the names and/or symbols  that individuals or corporations use to distinguish their goods from those of others in the market place.  Service marks are names and/or symbols that individuals use to distinguish their services from those of other services in the marketplace.  Famous examples of trademarks are COCA COLA®, PEPSI COLA®, WINDOWS®.  Examples of famous service marks are BANK ONE®, CITIBANK® or AMERICAN®. [Read more...]

Obtaining, Using, And Protecting Trademarks

 Essential IP skills for the business lawyer

The cornerstone of corporate identity, trademarks are essential assets that must be protected and managed. Obtaining, Using and Protecting Trademarks offers you a step-by-step guide to developing your company’s trademark management system. Use it to gain a solid knowledge of the various types of marks and their relative registerability; how to perform a trademark search and clearance; how to apply for and register a trademark; how to properly use and maintain marks and essential guidance for enforcing them in commerce.

If you represent a business or person who manufactures, licenses, and/or sells goods or services in the marketplace, you need to be well-acquainted with the rudimentary issues regarding trademarks. You need to advices your clients on how to protection for these valid business assets.

Obtaining, Using and Protecting Trademarks is designed to provide you with a practical overview of the basic issues regarding trademarks and a hand guide, if you’re not an intellectual property specialist but need quick reference, for counseling your business or individual client.

Sample forms round out this essential QuickCheck—use them and adapt them as you develop and maintain your own trademark management system.