Alessia Monica

Research fellow in European Union law and European administrative law at the University of Pavia; adjunct professor in Health law at the University of Milan

Trademark protection in the European Union aims at helping businesses to distinguish their goods or services in overcoming national barriers that still persist in many areas of intellectual property protection. Deciding on European trademarks, EUIPO (as well as its Boards of Appeal) is sometimes called upon to assess the existence of "bad faith", "public order" and "morality". The recent declaration of invalidity of the trademark of Banksy's "Flower Thrower" highlights how EU trademark law was conceived to also protect other closely interconnected rights: fundamental rights, competition rights, and the rights of "Third Parties". Their protection is therefore directly linked to the logical interpretation of "undetermined concepts" in the relevant context.

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Approaching the summer season, the destiny of beach resorts and establishments is a subject of notable interest, because it also raises unresolved questions from the point of view of the relationship, often full of contradictions, between national administrative law and the principles of European Union law. Therefore, clear rules need to be defined in order to allow the summer season to take place safely both for operators and tourists. It is also of paramount importance to overcome the inertia of the legislator with regard to the reform of this sector, concerning overall the expiry of ongoing concessions on the basis of the principles of public evidence established by the EU Treaties and by the “Services Directive” 123/2006/CE (which includes in its scope of applications maritime, lake and river concessions). In this sense, the emergency could be the right moment to adopt measures that take into account each specific situation as to protect the legitimate expectations of the concession holders (in any case in compliance with what has already been affirmed by the EU Court following a preliminary ruling in joined cases C-458/14 e C-67/15, Promoimpresa e sig. Melis. In addition this allows to make further reflections on "Emergency Administration" on the bases of the provisions suggested by the technical committees in order to contain contagion from Covid19 and concerning also the seaside businesses.  Decisions required to deal with the crisis must certainly be inspired by the precautionary principle, but they must also respect the principle of proportionality as to limit unsuitable effects on other emerging interests, including the impact on the stability of the EU single market (of services).

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