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The module covers all legal issues that might arise from the very moment someone decides to apply to register a sign as a trade mark. Following topics will be discussed in class: what may constitute subject matter eligible for trade mark protection?; absolute grounds for refusal and invalidity; relative grounds for refusal and invalidity; distinctiveness acquired through use; trade mark infringement; invalidity; revocation; defenses; the concept of the trade mark functions; economic justifications for trade mark protection; trade mark protection against dilution; the free-riding theory of trade mark protection; the particularities of the EUTM system; common law rights in the US; the federal US registration system; the US functionality doctrine

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