Topic: L'Oreal and the logic of 'Because You're Worth It': free riding and European trade mark law

Presenter: Dr Dev Gangjee - London School of Economics - Department of Law

In L'Oreal v Bellure the European Court of Justice recently decided that free riding, or taking advantage of the reputation enjoyed by an earlier mark, is actionable per se. In reaching this conclusion, the ECJ significantly expanded the scope of trade mark protection but provided little justification for doing so. Referencing activity and building on the efforts of others are fundamental to creative and competitive processes, yet the court provides little guidance on separating acceptable referencing from unacceptable. If we all borrow from each other, when is this to be prohibited and why?

This presentation maps out the issues in L'Oreal, identifies the key findings and then traces its tentative application in subsequent OHIM and national decisions. It also considers its implications for search engine related keyword advertising references currently pending before the ECJ.

All welcome, no RSVP required.

Contact: Ms Beth Williams, ph: (07)3346 9350, email:

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