IP Dragon Teaches CPD Course in HK: Transnational Trademark Issues: Observations from a Century of Budweiser Conflicts

By Dr. Danny Friedmann


In 2006 Professor Justin Hughes of Cardozo Law School wrote one of the defining articles on Geographical Indications: “Champagne, Feta, and Bourbon: The spirited debate about geographical indications”, you can find here and an excellent presentation here.  In his presentation Professor Hughes also mentions the Budweiser cases, starting at 42 minutes see here.


Dr. Christopher Heath of the European Patent Office, wrote a great chapter about “The Budweiser Cases: A Brewing Conflict”, in Christopher Heath and Anselm Kamperman Sanders (eds) Landmark Intellectual Property Cases and Their Legacy, 2011, 181-244, see here.


Inspired by Hughes and Heath this author is teaching on March 8, 2014 a CPD course (3 points) in Hong Kong for The Profectional Company, see here, on these Budweiser cases, since they are a great tool to teach about the following topics:


  • Rationales of Trademark Law
    1. By the end of this course the participants will know the rationales of trademark law, the essential function of trademark against confusion or a likelihood of confusion: source of origin, quality and product distinctiveness and their derivatives; the doctrines of sponsorship and affiliation confusion, initial-interest confusion, post sale confusion and reverse confusion will be all explained.
    2. Beside the “essential” function, the participants will also learn about the communication, advertisement and investment functions, and the measures against trademark dilution or a likelihood of trademark dilution, which can be crucial for the trademark proprietor.  There are two branches of the trademark dilution doctrine, which will be illustrated by relevant case law: trademark dilution by blurring and trademark dilution by tarnishment.


  • Characteristics of Trademarks
    1. Trademarks will be discussed in regard to different categories, each having very different characteristics: registered/unregistered, inherently distinctive/acquired distinctiveness, well-known/famous/reputable, collective/certification, appellation of origin/geographical indication.


  • New Challenges for the Trademark
    1. First the history of trademark infringement and trademark dilution will be highlighted in order to better understand the present situation.  This course will then elaborate on the challenges of two fundaments of trademark law; territoriality principle in regard to globalisation and the internet, and the specialty principle and the problems related to the Nice Classification. Alternative systems will also be reviewed.


  • Relevant Treaty Law for Geographical Indications
    1. The course will explicate how collective/certification trademarks, Paris Convention, TRIPS and Lisbon Agreements are relevant for the protection of Geographical Indications, the similarities and differences in the different jurisdictions will be discussed.  The participants will understand the relation and conflict between a normal trademark and a Geographical Indication.


  • European Intellectual Property Law
    1. This course includes a primer on EU IP law; the participants will understand the difference between regulations and directives, and how the National Courts of the EU, the European Court of Justice/Court of Justice of the European Union and the Advocate General of the CJEU and their relationships.


  • The Budweiser Cases
    1. After comprehending the aforementioned building blocks of the course, the participants will fully appreciate and comprehend the rich case law on the manifold Budweiser legal conflicts which will be reviewed.  By the end of this course, the participants will have an up-to-date knowledge of the ECJ/CJEU decisions and even an ECHR (human rights) judgment in regard to the Budweiser cases.


You can find more information on the course here.

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