Return to New TLD Agreements Forum - Message Thread - FAQ

Username: Watchman
Date/Time: Wed, November 28, 2001 at 9:16 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows NT 5.0
Subject: is your proof


     Garry, mate:

Here's the difference between countries you asked me to prove.

In the U.K. - " "Car", "hotel", "computer", "accountants", cannot function as trademarks because they are the common commercial names of goods or services and cannot identify the goods or services of one source and distinguish them from those of another. If they are included as part of a trademark, i.e. HYATT HOTELS, APPLE COMPUTERS they must be "disclaimed"."

In the U.S., such generic words CAN be trademarked, as long as there's only one company using that name in a particular industry.  So Apple Compuer can trademark Apple, and no other computer company can use Apple.  Another type of company can use Apple, though.

Worldwide, there is still a difference between the legal systems in the old British Commonwealth countries and the countries whose law is based on the Napoleanic Code. The common law countries include U.K., Canada, United States, Hong Kong, India, and parts of Africa, essentially the British Empire. Civil Code countries include primarily Europe and Latin America. In the Common Law countries, trademark ownership is based on use. The first to use a trademark owns it. In Civil Code countries, ownership is based upon REGISTRATION.

Here's another example of how trademarks in different countries are treated differently.  U.S. trademarks receive preferable treatment in the U.S., and trademarks registered in other countries are not considered equivalent.  Section 526 (Title 19, U.S. Code, Section 1526) reads: "[I]t shall be unlawful to import into the United States any merchandise of foreign manufacture if such merchandise, or the label, sign, print, package, wrapper, or receptacle, bears a trademark owned by a citizen of, or by a corporation or association created, or organized within, the United States, and registered in the Patent and Trademark office by a person domiciled in the United States ... unless written consent of the owner of such a trademark is produced at the time of making entry."

BTW ... In the USA, an ISP is a service provider and is not liable for the content posted on or through it.  In Great Britain, ISPs are considered PUBLISHERS.  For example, Demon got sued for slander for something one of its users posted through it.  

So since you're in Britain, Garry, your service providers can be sued for irresponsible statements you make.  I pity them.



Link: British trademark law

Message Thread:

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy