Core Module (10 ECTS)


The module comprises a comparative analysis in the EU and the US of the law and court jurisprudence on trademarks and non-registered distinctive signs (i.e. unfair competition, passing off). It also discusses the impact of international conventions, such as the Paris Convention and the Madrid Agreement and Protocol on the international registration of trademarks. In particular, the course covers the following subjects: Concept and functions of trademarks -Registration of trademarks and what marks are not eligible for registration trademark infringements: (a) likelihood of confusion, (b) dilution of famous marks, (c) parallel imports and exhaustion of rights -limitation of trademark rights - comparative advertising and trademarks -domain names and trademarks - trademark opposition, trademark cancellation, trademark invalidity and the proof of use defense - non registered distinctive signs and the law of unfair competition and passing off - the EU trademark system -the impact of the Paris Convention, the impact of the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol and the impact of the TRIPS Agreement -economic analysis and trademarks.


Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • handle trademark and distinctive signs litigation cases
  • use in practice the principles of trademark law
  • use in practice the jurisprudence of the GCEU and the CJEU in trademark cases
  • manage trademark portfolios worldwide


Topics discussed comprise the following: Trademark functions, Trademarks economics, Trademarks and competition law, Registration of trademarks (absolute and relative grounds), Trademark infringement, Likelihood of confusion, Trademark dilution, Limitation of trademark rights, Freedom of expression in trademark law, Limitation of rights in consequence of acquiescence, Proof of use, Invalidity of trademarks, Revocation of trademarks.

Academic Requirements

There are no academic prerequisites or previous knowledge requirements to attend the course.

Teaching method

The  course  will  run  under  both  seminar  and  workshop  format,  which  requires  a high degree of student activity. Much of the course emphasizes on case law from the CJEU and the GCEU. Students are expected to constantly read court judgments and write short critical papers.


The course is taught by Assistant Professor Christos S. Chrissanthis.

Assessment and testing

  • Written exam, open book on case studies - problem questions (60%)
  • One short paper assignment (40%)