Plačiai žinomų prekių ženklų teisinės apsaugos ribos: teisinio reguliavimo problemos.
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The legal protection of well-known trademarks is an exception to the fundamental principles of trademark law, i.e. territorality, registration and „speciality“. The well-known trademark is protected even if it had not been registered according to the national legal regulation of that state, in which protection is sought. The well-known trademark can also be protected even in respect to the goods and (or) services which are not similar to those for which the well-known trademark is used or registered (in case the trademark is registered). The legal provisions related to the boundaries of the protection of the well-known trademarks in international, European Union and Lithuanian national legal actsare not analogous and moreover, in some parts they are even contradictory. At the same time, European Union law and Lithuanian national law provide another type of trademarks, which could be also protected in respect to dissimilar goods and (or) services, namely trademarks having a reputation. There is no such category of trademarks provided in the international law. The legal doctrine as well as current case law does not produce the clear answer as to what is the difference and relationship between the well-known trademarks and trademarks having a reputation. The article provides an analysis of the legal provisions in international, European Union and Lithuanian national law, related to the boundaries of the legal protection of well-known trademarks. This analysis in particular emphasizes inadequacies in the legal regulation, causing partly „programmed“ conceptual problematic related to legal protection of well-known trademarks, namely, the boundaries of that protection. The article also provides an analysis on what is the interrelation between the well-known trademarks and trademarks having a reputation. At the same time, the article suggests possible solutions as to how the problems which are „programmed“ in the legal regulation could be solved. This could be helpful in avoiding uncertain and unforseeable legal situations, which in turn could mean neglecting the interests of possible defendants – the owners or users of other trademarks.
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