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Word Count: 1,260
A trade mark serves two ends on the one hand it ensures the holder of the trade mark the goodwill associated with the marked product on the other hand it informs the consumer that the product is of specific kind as opposed to a copy enabling the consumer who acquired them to repeat the experience if it proves to be positive or to avoid it if it proves to be negative on the occasion of a subsequent purchase Case T-7900 Rewe-Zentral v OHIM LITE 2002 ECR II-705 Bainbridge 2005 online The registration of a trade mark makes it more difficult for competitors to take advantage of the reputation that is being associated with a certain product or company Within trade mark legislation the specific subject matter further specifies the rights of a trade mark holder as entitling the owner to exclude others from making use of it without permission even if the effect is to exclude them from the market This has been specified by the ECJ in cases Philips Electronics NV v Ingman Ltd 1998 2 CMLR 839 853 Sandvik AB v KR Pfiffner UK Ltd 1999 EuLR 755 787 HMSO v Automobile Association 2001 ECC 272 278 HMCS 2002 online Another crucial term is the essential function which is described by the ECJ as being a guarantee of origin the trade mark must offer a guarantee that all goods or services bearing it have been manufactured or supplied under the control of a single undertaking which is responsible for their quality BirdBird 2003 online To ensure that guarantee of origin the proprietor has to be protected against competitors trying to take advantage of the reputation of that trade mark by selling products unlawfully bearing it In the context of the European Union the following natural and legal persons may be proprietors of Community Trade Marks -Nationals of the Member States -Nationals of other states which are parties
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