To prepare a Draft Resolution to be presented at the AIPPI ExCo, Helsinki, Finland, September 2013
Description of Working Question
The question of the relevant public for determining the degree of recognition of a mark was discussed in Paris in 2010 when AIPPI adopted Resolution Q214 dealing with the protection against dilution of a trademark. The working guidelines Q214 discussed whether the general public at large or a relevant sector of public would be the relevant public in determining the knowledge, recognition or fame of a mark. This prompted mixed answers by the Groups. A number of Groups noted that the relevant population for determining the knowledge or reputation of a well known mark or a mark with a reputation is the public that is concerned by the products or services covered by the protected mark in question. In these jurisdictions, recognition or a reputation in a niche market is sufficient. In other jurisdictions, however, the relevant population in determining the degree of recognition of a famous or even a well known mark or a mark with a reputation is the entire consuming public of the country; i.e. recognition in a niche market is not sufficient.
The Resolution Q214 eventually adopted in Paris states that the relevant public in determining the recognition or fame of a mark depends on the public concerned by the products or services covered by the trademark and can be a limited product market. However, in the working committee Q214 in Paris it became clear that the issue of the relevant public requires further study and should be made the subject of a separate question. Specifically, not only the qualitative aspect of the relevant public (what is the relevant public?) should be studied in more detail, but also the quantitative aspect of the relevant public (what part of that relevant public is required, e.g. the entire public or a significant part of that public?). It is against this background that we propose to take up the question of the relevant public again and study it in more detail in the framework of a working question for Helsinki in 2013.