Maria Miguel Carvalho (Associate Professor with Habilitation, School of Law, University of Minho, Portugal. Director of Research Centre for Justice and Governance, School of Law, University of Minho, Portugal)
The importance of intellectual property [IP] in the pursuit of goal 9 of the 2030 Agenda (build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation) is often mentioned and, upon the initiative of the World Intellectual Property Organization [WIPO], was already the leitmotif of the World IP Day in 2020 (“Innovate for a Green Future”), although for the most part only patents and utility models are mentioned. However, due to a growing awareness on the part of consumers [the “green” consumers (LOHAS consumers)] on the impact of their choices, in recent years the role that trade marks might play in this domain is also emerging (e.g., the 2022 MARQUES Annual Conference theme: “Celebrating marks: How sustainability and technology will shape the future of brands”).
Trade marks are distinctive signs of products or services that provide relevant information to consumers. They can therefore play a highly relevant role concerning, in particular, the increased choice of products or services distinguished with “green” signs, and thus also encourage companies to adopt (more) sustainable practices. Companies, aware of this fact, have been increasingly adopting the so-called green branding, which consists in using trade marks that suggest that the products or services they indicate are environment-friendly (green marks, eco marks), for example, because they are recyclable.Continue reading “Sustainability and trade marks”