A Linguistic Approach to Analyze Trademark Dilution -The Applicability to Geographical Certification Marks Under Trademark Law

A Linguistic Approach to Analyze Trademark Dilution -The Applicability to Geographical Certification Marks Under Trademark Law

 

Title
A Linguistic Approach to Analyze Trademark Dilution -The Applicability to Geographical Certification Marks Under Trademark Law
Author
Si-Yu Chen
Keywords
Geographical Certification Marks, Trademark Dilution, Metonymy, Salience, Free-riding, Externality
Abstract
Any kinds of vehicles that can convey information could be considered symbols,
including words, languages and marks. This article applies semiology and
linguistics to analyze the issue in new trademark law that passed in 2011, focusing
on “geographical certification mark” which only roughly stipulates as that “trademarks
shall apply mutatis mutandis to certification marks.” However, due to various
differences between geographical certification marks and trademarks, difficulties
have arisen when applying dilution articles to geographical certification marks.
This article begins by examining the meaning and function of geographical certification
marks, and then applies Saussure’s semiology to identify the legal interest
that “likelihood of confusion” and trademark dilution aim to protect. Moreover, this
article proposes a rationale to determine whether the trademark dilution occurs, and
highlights several split opinions among courts which resulting from having an unclear
perception of the legal interests that the dilution articles seek to protect. This
article also addresses the issue by analyzing the “metonymy” from a linguistic approach
and proposes the conclusion that the dilution is not applicable to geographical
certification marks. Furthermore, this article suggests other mechanisms based
on “externality” in economic’s concept to protect geographical certification marks
under trademark law.
Abstract Article

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