How can I tell the trade mark on a piece of gingerbread from all the other marks on it? Naming and meaning in verbal trademark signs

Durant, Alan (2008) How can I tell the trade mark on a piece of gingerbread from all the other marks on it? Naming and meaning in verbal trademark signs. In: Trade Marks and Brands: an interdisciplinary critique. Bently, Lionel and Davis, Jennifer and Ginsburg, Jane C., eds. Cambridge Intellectual Property and Information Law (10). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521889650

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Abstract

This chapter considers trademark signification from a broadly linguistic perspective. First, the canonical contrast in trademark law between 'distinctive’ and ‘descriptive’ signs is revisited, in order to explicate what might be called ‘ordinary language confusion’ surrounding the two terms. Technical meanings of the two concepts in trademark law and in linguistics are then introduced, showing how the ‘distinctive’/’descriptive’ threshold is important but problematic in legal contestation both of eligibility for trademark registration and as regards enforcement of trademark rights. The chapter concludes that the border zone between these categories calls for analysis focused on use of verbal signs in a given context rather than essentially different, stable kinds or types of sign.

Item Type:Book Section
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This chapter is followed in the book by an extended reply, ‘What linguistics can do for trademark law’, by Graeme B. Dinwoodie, pp.140-57.

Research Areas:School of Law > Law
ID Code:8162
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Deposited On:03 Oct 2011 06:36
Last Modified:03 Oct 2013 13:12

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