INTA Bulletin

December 1, 2017 Vol. 72 No. 20 Back to Bulletin Main Page

Committee Spotlight: Famous & Well-known Marks Committee

INTA’s Famous and Well-Known Marks (FWKM) Committee develops and advocates policies and positions to advance balanced protection of famous and well-known marks (FWKM), which are marks that may enjoy broader protection than ordinary marks in view of their widespread reputation or recognition. The FWKM Committee monitors and analyzes laws, regulations, procedures, and court decisions throughout the world relating to the protection of FWKM, and also maintains a database of FWKM registries worldwide. The FWKM Committee also works with other INTA committees to prepare reports addressing issues relating to famous and well-known marks, such as how the use of 3D printers may impact the protection of such marks.

The FWKM Committee consists of more than 190 members and six subcommittees, which are divided by regions (Canada; East Asia & Pacific; Europe & Central Asia; Latin America & Caribbean; the Middle East, Africa, & South Asia; and the United States). During this committee term, those subcommittees have been working on a number of projects:
  • The Middle East, Africa, & South Asia Subcommittee is preparing a report for the Indian Trade Marks Office highlighting potential issues relating to the establishment of recordal of well-known trademarks in India, such as treatment of trademarks that already have been recognized as well-known by various authorities including courts, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board, and the Trade Marks Office.
  • The East Asia & Pacific Subcommittee is working to complete a Domain Name Project as well as a Business Name/FWKM Dispute Project by gathering information relating to those practices in East Asia and Pacific countries, and then, based on that information, produce reports and recommendations on best practices.
  • The Latin America & Caribbean Subcommittee is addressing the issue of protection of FWKM in the context of domain names by completing country questionnaires.
  • The Canada Subcommittee is evaluating and addressing issues relating to new trademark regulations in Canada.
  • The United States Subcommittee is continuing to identify court decisions involving marks that are famous, particularly those in which fame was discussed by the court or played a role in the court’s determination. Based on that work, the subcommittee is working to publish articles addressing best practices for owners of famous marks. 
  • Finally, the Europe & Central Asia Subcommittee has worked to publish “The Report on Application of Article 6 (bis) of the Paris Convention in selected Europe and Central Asia jurisdictions.”
FWKM Committee members work with government officials around the world to protect the rights of FWKM and to share information about the protection of FWKM. The Famous and Well-Known Marks Practitioner’s Toolkit is evidence of the committee's hard work and a valuable resource for INTA members. Additional content created and maintained by the FWKM Committee is available here.

To contact any of the FWKM Committee leaders, visit the committee landing page on the INTA website.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2017 International Trademark Association