Rob Batty, ‘Loss of Property Ownership and Registered Trade Mark Law’

It is difficult for the ownership of a tangible item of personal property to be involuntarily lost. Ongoing ownership is not tied to use of an item. It is generally thought, though, that ownership can be voluntarily abandoned. Abandonment then frees up an item to become owned by another. Although a registered trade mark is a species of personal property, the law regarding the loss of ownership and ‘re-ownership’ of a registered trade mark, diverges from this general personal property model. This article explains this divergence, and how registered trade mark law’s different approach to re-ownership is caused by the recognition of other independent protection mechanisms for trade marks. The article then critically evaluates the law’s current operation concerning loss of ownership in light of the position under personal property law and the underlying justifications for trade mark protection.

Batty, Rob, Loss of Property Ownership and Registered Trade Mark Law (January 9, 2018). Australian Intellectual Property Journal (forthcoming).

First posted 2018-03-17 07:23:57

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