Legal protection of brands in EU Law

European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Branding_wordcloud z_amir / Fotolia

‘Brand’ is not a legal term. It refers to the set of functions and symbols associated with a specific mark, including its cultural, legal, political and social aspects, which contribute to its market value. From a legal point of view, a brand is an exclusive channel of communication connected with the brand exploitation rights, an intangible (investment) asset, as well as a source of sustained competitive advantage. The legal protection of brands is traditionally based on the so-called ‘broadcast model’ of brand creation. It is characterised by the assumption that the trademark owner is the sole creator of the brand. Some scholars criticise this model for neglecting the social dimension of brands and propose the so-called ‘dialogic model’ of brand authorship. In contrast to the ‘broadcast model’, it stresses that a brand image is co-created by the company which legally owns the brand, as well as by…

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