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Aktieindex - en varumärkesanvändning i förändring

Berggren, Cecilia LU (2012) JURM01 20092
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Immateriella rättigheter utgör en väldigt viktig komponent på den globala markanden och enorma investeringar ligger ofta bakom uppkomsten och underhåll av starka varumärken. Detta skapar givetvis starka incitament att bevaka och skydda dessa varumärken och i den mån det går att reglera tredje mans användning genom exempelvis licenser. Frågan huruvida aktörer såsom banker och andra finansiella institut har rätt att referera till aktieindex, tillika registrerade varumärken, i strukturerade produkter har varit föremål för diskussion i drygt två decennier. En strukturerad produkt har oftast två komponenter varav den ena delen utgörs av ett derivat såsom en option, termin eller en swap. De är kopplade till händelser vid en given tidpunkt i... (More)
Immateriella rättigheter utgör en väldigt viktig komponent på den globala markanden och enorma investeringar ligger ofta bakom uppkomsten och underhåll av starka varumärken. Detta skapar givetvis starka incitament att bevaka och skydda dessa varumärken och i den mån det går att reglera tredje mans användning genom exempelvis licenser. Frågan huruvida aktörer såsom banker och andra finansiella institut har rätt att referera till aktieindex, tillika registrerade varumärken, i strukturerade produkter har varit föremål för diskussion i drygt två decennier. En strukturerad produkt har oftast två komponenter varav den ena delen utgörs av ett derivat såsom en option, termin eller en swap. De är kopplade till händelser vid en given tidpunkt i framtiden och avspeglar ofta ett index. Det finns delade meningar om emittenterna, oftast banker, ska erlägga licensavgifter för att de refererar till aktieindex i strukturerade produkter. Diskussionen kretsar kring hur långt en varumärkesinnehavares ensamrätt sträcker sig och om referenser till deras varumärken i strukturerade produkter innebär intrång i denna ensamrätt.

2009 avgjordes frågan i Tysklands motsvarighet till Högsta domstolen, Bundesgerischthof. De fastslog att Commerzbank varken på grund av förväxlingsrisk enligt art. 5.1 eller genom intrång i anseendeskyddet enligt art. 5.2 i Direktivet gjort sig skyldig till varumärkesintrång genom att referera till Deutsche Börses DAX-index. Domstolen konstaterade dock att referenserna ska vara förenliga med god affärssed och det får inte skapas ett intryck att det finns ett affärsmässigt samband mellan banken och indexinnehavaren. Domen ger viss vägledning även för svenska förhållanden i och med den harmoniserade EU-reglerade varumärkesrätten.

I uppsatsen redogörs för den varumärkesrättsliga ensamrätten, tredje mans berättigade användning utifrån lagstadgade inskränkningar, licensiering samt risker vid tredje mans användning av annans varumärke. Frågan är komplex men det kan konstateras att det ska göras en helhetsbedömning för varje enskilt fall. Av vikt är att framhäva att det inte sker en förväxling eller att referensen medför att det är vilseledande om det föreligger ett kommersiellt samband mellan banken och varumärkesinnehavaren. Omständigheterna kan bland annat undvikas genom att infoga en disclaimer, inte använda logotyper och endast använda tredje mans varumärke i brödtext och i anslutning infoga ett ®. Dessutom ska ett varumärkes främsta funktion, att garantera dess ursprung, inte riskera att försvagas eller helt försvinna.

Frågan huruvida referenser till index i strukturerade produkter ska utgöra intrång i ensamrätten eller omfattas av varumärkesrättens accepterade inskränkningar i Sverige kommer med stor sannolikhet fortgå med anledning av de stora och skilda markandsaktörernas finansiella intressen. Frågan sträcker sig utöver diskussionen om varumärken. (Less)
Abstract
Intellectual property is a very important component in the global market and enormous investments are often underlying for the development and maintenance of strong brands. This obviously creates strong incentives to monitor and protect these trademarks and to the extent possible, regulate the use by third parties through licenses. The question whether players such as banks and other financial institutions are entitled to refer to index, also registered trademarks, in structured products has been subject for discussion for over two decades. A structured product usually has two components, one of which consists of a derivative for example an option, futures or swaps. They are linked to events at a given time in the future and often reflect... (More)
Intellectual property is a very important component in the global market and enormous investments are often underlying for the development and maintenance of strong brands. This obviously creates strong incentives to monitor and protect these trademarks and to the extent possible, regulate the use by third parties through licenses. The question whether players such as banks and other financial institutions are entitled to refer to index, also registered trademarks, in structured products has been subject for discussion for over two decades. A structured product usually has two components, one of which consists of a derivative for example an option, futures or swaps. They are linked to events at a given time in the future and often reflect an index. The opinions differ if issuers, mostly banks, are required to pay royalties to refer to index in structured products. The discussion has its focus on how far a trademark holder’s exclusive right to its trademark is and if references to such trademarks in structured products will infringe those rights.

In 2009 the issue was settled in Germanys’ Supreme Court, Bundesgerischthof. It ruled that Commerzbank is not guilty of trademark infringement by referring to Deutsche Börse DAX-index neither due to confusion according to article 5.1 or by infringing the reputation protection under article 5.2 of the Trade Marks Directive. The Court noted that the references should be consistent within the scope of good business and must not create an impression that it exist a commercial connection between the bank and the index holder. The verdict provides some guidance for Swedish conditions due to the harmonized trade mark regulation in EU.

The essay presents the exclusive legal rights of a trademark, third party’s legitimate use of trade marks, licensing and the risks related to third party use of another party’s trademark.

The issue is complex but it can be concluded that an overall assessment should be performed for each case. Of importance is to highlight that confusion or misleading if there is a commercial connection between the bank and the trademark holder should not occur. The circumstances may be avoided by inserting a disclaimer, not use logotypes and only use the third party's trademark in the body test, and in connection with a ®. In addition, the primary function of a trademark, to ensure its origin, should not be likely to weaken or disappear.

The question whether references to index in structured products shall constitute an infringement of the exclusive right or subject to the accepted restrictions according to the trademark law in Sweden will most likely continue due to the large and diverse stakeholders' financial interests. The issue also goes beyond the discussion of trademarks. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Berggren, Cecilia LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Trademark use of stock indices - a change in Intellectual Property law
course
JURM01 20092
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Immaterialrätt, intellectual property, varumärke, trademark, aktieindex, stock index, strukturerad produkt, structured product, varumärkesanvändning, trademark use, varumärkesintrång, Nasdaq OMX
language
Swedish
id
2342224
date added to LUP
2012-03-14 10:45:25
date last changed
2012-03-14 10:45:25
@misc{2342224,
  abstract     = {Intellectual property is a very important component in the global market and enormous investments are often underlying for the development and maintenance of strong brands. This obviously creates strong incentives to monitor and protect these trademarks and to the extent possible, regulate the use by third parties through licenses. The question whether players such as banks and other financial institutions are entitled to refer to index, also registered trademarks, in structured products has been subject for discussion for over two decades. A structured product usually has two components, one of which consists of a derivative for example an option, futures or swaps. They are linked to events at a given time in the future and often reflect an index. The opinions differ if issuers, mostly banks, are required to pay royalties to refer to index in structured products. The discussion has its focus on how far a trademark holder’s exclusive right to its trademark is and if references to such trademarks in structured products will infringe those rights.

In 2009 the issue was settled in Germanys’ Supreme Court, Bundesgerischthof. It ruled that Commerzbank is not guilty of trademark infringement by referring to Deutsche Börse DAX-index neither due to confusion according to article 5.1 or by infringing the reputation protection under article 5.2 of the Trade Marks Directive. The Court noted that the references should be consistent within the scope of good business and must not create an impression that it exist a commercial connection between the bank and the index holder. The verdict provides some guidance for Swedish conditions due to the harmonized trade mark regulation in EU.

The essay presents the exclusive legal rights of a trademark, third party’s legitimate use of trade marks, licensing and the risks related to third party use of another party’s trademark.

The issue is complex but it can be concluded that an overall assessment should be performed for each case. Of importance is to highlight that confusion or misleading if there is a commercial connection between the bank and the trademark holder should not occur. The circumstances may be avoided by inserting a disclaimer, not use logotypes and only use the third party's trademark in the body test, and in connection with a ®. In addition, the primary function of a trademark, to ensure its origin, should not be likely to weaken or disappear.

The question whether references to index in structured products shall constitute an infringement of the exclusive right or subject to the accepted restrictions according to the trademark law in Sweden will most likely continue due to the large and diverse stakeholders' financial interests. The issue also goes beyond the discussion of trademarks.},
  author       = {Berggren, Cecilia},
  keyword      = {Immaterialrätt,intellectual property,varumärke,trademark,aktieindex,stock index,strukturerad produkt,structured product,varumärkesanvändning,trademark use,varumärkesintrång,Nasdaq OMX},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Aktieindex - en varumärkesanvändning i förändring},
  year         = {2012},
}