by Irina Pak, BPP Law School, U.K.
from Volume 3, Issue 2 (Spring 2013)
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Abstract: This Essay will argue that trademarks in the European Union (EU) presently enjoy sufficient protection and that further expansion of the proprietor’s rights may adversely affect the consumer. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has played a major role in expanding trademark protection: it gave a wide interpretation to the meaning of ‘use’ under Article 5(1)(a) of the EU Trademarks Directive and accepted that the mark’s owner is entitled to protection of the investment per se in L’Oréal SA v. Bellure NV (the L’Oréal case). Hence, recognizing other functions of marks and granting them legal protection creates the danger of shifting protection away from consumers