I.Protect: Disparaging trademarks

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Thursday, May 15, 2014


Clint Fabiosa & Ana Liza Villamor

OUR Intellectual Property Code (Section 123.1) does not allow the registration of trademarks that may disparage persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute.

In the US, (1) the mark “REDSKINS” used in the presentation of professional football games was found to be matter that may disparate Native Americans; (2) the mark “THE MEMPHIS MAFIA” used for entertainment services was held not to disparage Italian-Americans; (3) the design of a letter “X” superimposed over a hammer and a sickle was held to disparage a national symbol of the USSR; and (4) the mark “MOONIES” used for dolls whose pants may be dropped was ruled not to be disparaging to a religious group.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 16, 2014.

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