Famous marks doctrine in the US and UK

This is an Insight article, written by a selected partner as part of IAM's co-published content. Read more on Insight

Trademark rights are, generally speaking, enforceable only in the country in which they are established. For example, the manufacturer of Hoppin’ sausages in Germany has no rights in the United States if it does not sell or advertise its sausages in the United States. An international treaty known as the Paris Convention – to which the United States, the United Kingdom and many EU nations are signatories – makes an exception to this territoriality principle with the doctrine of “famous marks”. This exception requires a signatory nation to protect a foreign mark that has become famous in that nation even if it is not registered or used there, as long as the mark is protected under another member nation’s laws. This article compares and contrasts the state of the famous marks doctrine in the United States and the United Kingdom.


Unlock unlimited access to all IAM content