Brand protection: new trends in EU case-law

European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Black bull © Oleksandr Rozhkov / Fotolia

At present, EU law and especially the case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) provides wide-ranging protection of brands, which are considered as trademarks in law, covering such functions of trademarks as their use for the purposes of advertising, investment and communication with consumers. However, this approach causes controversy because it broadens the scope of trademark protection beyond the primary function of indicating the origin of goods and services and guaranteeing their quality (origin function).

In recent years scholars have criticised the current line of CJEU case-law on this issue, specifically its understanding of trademarks’ functions . As a consequence, academics have suggested rethinking the current wide scope of trademark protection in the EU, which they consider to be exaggerated, and ” push[ing] the genie back in the bottle .” They argue that trademark protection should be available only for use of…

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