Trademark Law and Theory
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Trademark Law and Theory

A Handbook of Contemporary Research

Edited by Graeme B. Dinwoodie and Mark D. Janis

This important research Handbook brings together a set of illuminating works by the field’s leading scholars to comprise one of the broadest and most far-reaching overviews of trademark law issues. Organized around three areas of inquiry, the book starts by offering a rich variety of methodological perspectives on trademark law. Reflecting the multifaceted nature of contemporary trademarks, contributors have drawn from law and economics, political science, semiotic theory, and history. The Handbook goes on to survey trademark law’s international landscape, addressing indigenous cultural property, human rights issues, the free movement of goods, and the role of substantive harmonization. It concludes with a series of forward-looking perspectives, which focus on trademark law’s intersection with the laws of advertising and free speech, copyright law, cyberspace regulation, and design protection.
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Chapter 5: The political economy of trademark dilution

Clarisa Long


4 Trade mark bureaucracies Robert Burrell* I. Introduction Academic discussions of the justifications for trade mark protection have focused on the arguments that trade marks reduce consumer search costs1 and protect against misappropriation of other traders’ labour and investment.2 One thing that is striking about these justifications, however, is that they provide little explanation of trade mark registration. This disjuncture between the standard justifications for trade mark protection and the existence and operation of registered trade mark systems is significant, because having a registered trade mark system requires a substantial expenditure of resources. Most obviously, a registered trade mark system requires the existence of a bureaucracy to process applications for registration. Less obvious costs flow from having a special class of lawyers (that is, “trade mark agents” or “trade mark attorneys”) who * Associate Professor and Associate Director for Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture, the University of Queensland, TC Beirne School of Law. My thanks go to Graeme Austin, Lionel Bently, Michael Handler, Charles Lawson and Kimberlee Weatherall. 1 See, e.g., WILLIAM LANDES & RICHARD POSNER, THE ECONOMIC STRUCTURE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW Ch. 7 (2003); Nicholas Economides, The Economics of Trademarks, 78 TRADEMARK REP. 523, 525–6 (1988); I.P.L. Png & David Reitman, Why Are Some Products Branded and Others Not?, 38 J.L. & ECON. 207 (1995). By allowing consumers to identify products they have enjoyed in the past, trade marks also, on this view, provide traders with incentives to compete on grounds other than price by developing products with particularly...

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