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Chapter Summary

Art. 15 is the first provision at the international level to give a uniform definition of signs "capable of constituting a trademark" for goods and services. Art. 15.1, sentence 1, makes protectability of signs and combinations of signs as a trademark depend on their abstract capability "of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings". The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement offers its Members different options for the introduction of additional registration prerequisites. Art. 15.1, sentence 3 allows Members to admit signs that "are not inherently capable of distinguishing the relevant goods or services" to registration on the basis of "distinctiveness acquired through use.".

Keywords: protectability; trademark; TRIPS Agreement



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