Copyright (c) 2006 Chapman Law Review
Chapman Law Review
ARTICLE: Trademarks and Geographical Indications: A Case of California Champagne
10 Chap. L. Rev. 257
Deborah J. Kemp* and Lynn M. Forsythe**
A. International Trademark
In most nations, a trademark is granted to the first person to file or register in the country. 16 But in the U.S., trademarks are granted on a first-to-use basis, in spite of lack of registration. 17 The EU Community Trademark System provides for central filing with the Trademark Office, similar to the U.S. federal trademark system. 18 The rights of trademark holders are then recognized throughout the EU. The same is true of federal filing in the U.S. 19
Much of the EU system is analogous to the federal and state dual sovereignty system embraced in the U.S. 20 The U.S. has the federal trademark system embodied in the Lanham Act. 21 The federal system recognizes a co-existing state common law system and state statutory system of unfair competition, which includes trademark law. 22 Similarly, the EU has both a "federal" system and each member's domestic trademark laws. 23 In both situations, the federal and state or international and national laws adjust to address conflicts and inconsistencies.
Trademarks are regional to an extent. For instance, there is a Budweiser trademark in the Czech Republic and in the U.S. Each trademark is valid in its own national market. The regional approach is acceptable unless, as has happened to Budweiser, both companies start exporting their products to the same markets. 24 The Czech Republic's view is that its Budweiser is a geographical indication. 25 The EU view may be that geographical indication takes precedence ...
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