For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

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Monday, 26 February 2007

All's fair ... in trade?

The IPKat has become increasingly curious about the FAIRTRADE trade mark. Visiting the Fairtrade Foundation's website, he has learned that

"The FAIRTRADE Mark is an independent consumer label which appears on products as an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal.

For a product to display the FAIRTRADE Mark it must meet international Fairtrade standards. These standards are set by the international certification body Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO).

Producer organisations that supply Fairtrade products are inspected and certified by FLO. They receive a minimum price that covers the cost of sustainable production and an extra premium that is invested in social or economic development projects".
This is most commendable, except that the IPKat has noticed that there seem to be quite a few Fairtrades around. Is there a cottage industry in fair trade licensing? And what happens if a prospective licensee, refused "fair" status, incorporates the words "fair" and "trade" within his trade mark or trade name? Is anyone actively researching into the legal and commercial implications of fair trade certification? The IPKat would love to know. Merpel, ever the cynic, can't help wondering if there isn't some dreadful gain to be made from the certification of unfair trade too ...

More on fair trade here and here
Unfair trade here

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Also see:

http://www.patent.gov.uk/tm/t-find/t-find-text?detailsrequested=C&searchtext=fair+trade&typeofsearch=S&classselected=99&crosssearch=Y&statusselected=A

Ilanah said...

QM CCLS is researching Fair Trade. Don't know if they're looking at TM implications though.

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