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Famous Marks/Well-Known Marks

What is a famous or well-known mark?

A famous or well-known mark is a trademark that, in view of its widespread reputation or recognition, may enjoy broader protection than an ordinary mark. See Dilution to learn more about protecting a famous or well-known mark.

INTA's position

INTA supports the effective protection and enforcement of well-known marks worldwide and is committed to assisting countries in meeting their treaty international obligations to protect famous and well-known marks.

International Standards of Protection for Well-Known Marks
International standards of protection for famous and well-known marks have been established through two treaties: the Paris Convention (Article 6bis) and the TRIPS Agreement (Article 16). In order to provide for a worldwide standard on how to implement the requirements under the Paris Convention and TRIPS, the World Intellectual Property Organization issued its Joint Recommendation on Well-Known Marks. INTA firmly supports this Recommendation in a Board Resolution (see below) and strongly encourages nations to adopt its provisions.

Well-Known Mark Registries
International trademark treaties obligate national governments to provide well-known marks with enhanced protection. INTA recognizes that the laws of different nations may lend themselves to different approaches in protecting well-known marks, and some countries are electing to meet these international obligations by establishing a well-known mark registry. There is little experience with the operation of well-known mark registries, and there are no established international guidelines as to the creation and maintenance of such registries.

As INTA is committed to assisting countries in meeting their treaty international obligations, the Association has developed a set of policies which we recommend to countries electing to establish well-known mark registries. Such registries should be designed and operated in a manner that affords legal certainty concerning rights in well-known marks, and should apply the principles of the WIPO Provisions for the protection of well-known marks. See Board Resolution on Well-Known Marks Registries (below).

INTA resources

The following countries are known to have a registry of famous/well-known marks. To access them, visit the profile of each country under Global Portal and search under “Trademark Office, Laws and Regulations”:

Armenia, Belarus, Brazil, Finland, India, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

If you have any questions, or are aware of another jurisdiction or office which provides such a registry, please contact us (see committee contact details below).

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