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World Trademark Review Features Professor Friedmann's Article on Geographical Indications

STL Visiting Assistant Professor of LawDanny Friedmann's article Grafting the Old and New World: Towards a Universal Trademark Register that Cancels Generic IGO Terms was featured in the World Trademark Review. Friedmann was interviewed by Tim Lince, see here.

Due to the various concerns outlined in the study, Friedmann tells WTR that a new process for IGOs should be considered. “Indications of geographical origin are in the best position to develop into a universal system, due to a particularity of the TRIPs agreement,” he explains. “Namely, Article 23.4 of TRIPs provides a mandate for a multilateral system of notification and registration for wines and spirits. However, due to the entrenched positions of the EU on the one hand and the US on the other, this has led to a 25 year long stalemate. By applying the Hegelian approach of thesis, antithesis, synthesis, a breakthrough and a better system is possible.”

“I am dedicated to the sublimation of trademark law towards a universal trademark system,” he tells us. “This high ideal is far away, of course: trademark law is path dependent and the principles of territoriality and specificity still reign supreme, despite the new demands of e-commerce and globalisation for a universal system with unique marks. For that reason, I picked the lowest hanging fruit where a universal system could be established.”

Tim Lince writes: “It is a bold proposal that would require a major shift in how IGOs are protected. Time will tell whether Friedmann's vision will be realised.”

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