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International Trademark Law Geekends

May 22, 2019 Blogs

The International Trademark Association’s (INTA) 2019 annual meeting happened this week in Boston, Massachusetts. I went to a two-day course on international trademark law and practice, which I rate as wicked smart. The course surveyed the world’s trademark law regimes by region and topic—very helpful in an increasingly interconnected world where business crosses borders more often. 

A few highlights: 

  • The whole presentation by Australia—heavily themed with fauna down unda—particularly the dangerous kind—and including slides like everything in Australia wants to kill you. This wrapping of trademark law into the dangers of the natural world like some kind of organic death taco really speaks to me. Also discussed: protections against the appropriation of indigenous cultural elements by trademark applicants, the cutthroat haka, etc. 

  • Little tips like, “if you ship product from Asia to Latin America and are geographically aware, you will know to register trademarks with Moroccan customs.”  of course – Morocco.

  • The emergence of movement trademarks.  this kind of stuff is traditionally thought of under copyright law (for example, the dance claims against Fortnite). But now my moves can be legally protectable source indicator?! [dusts off dance shoes]

  • Trademark infringement damage awards in India where the rights owners obtain judgments against the infringers that call for them to plant 140,000 trees (plus monitor them with drones) in order to mitigate pollution, or pay millions of rupees to supply sanitary napkins to orphanages; and
  • The polarization of trademark law regimes in Eastern Europe by the EU and Russia. Good stuff.