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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh
Birgit Clark
Blog Administrator
Christian Tenkhoff
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Gino Van Roeyen
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Niamh Hall
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Workshop: Whose Culture is it Anyway?

In the final post previewing workshops at this year’s Annual Conference, Marion Heathcote of the IP Emerging Issues Team introduces the topical subject: Food, Fashion and Festivals – Whose Culture is it Anyway?

Once culture was considered to be inspiration, but increasingly brands are facing swift and harsh judgements by consumers when they stray into the territory of cultural appropriation. Most recently Dior felt compelled to swiftly withdraw its new Sauvage perfume advertisement, featuring native American Indian symbolism and dance, under the pressure of social media and increasing outrage.

However artistically rendered they might be, an increasingly vocal consuming public view the acquiring of symbols and aspects of other cultures, often long stigmatised, without appropriate recognition, not as homages and not tolerable.

The long-standing reputation of a brand can be irreparably tarnished by lack of judgement and not paying appropriate cultural respect. Most susceptible have been fashion brands and festival cultures. Now derivative foods are increasingly coming under the spotlight for inappropriate expressions of their inspiration.

The Emerging Issues workshop on “food, fashion and festivals – whose culture is it anyway?” could not be more timely. The Team will explore the rapidly growing sample of unfortunate branding decisions and the impacts of failing to recognise culturally derived material. We are honoured to be joined by Daphne Zografas Johnsson (TK Division of WIPO) and Lydia Gobena (Well Known Marks Team) as they explore the real-life challenges faced by brand owners and the economic impact on a brand that is not mindful of potential consequences when selecting inspiration.

During an afternoon dedicated to exploring the art of appreciation not appropriation, practical guidelines will be provided to help navigate a path to avoid inadvertent mistakes and errors of ignorance. This is a workshop not to be missed for those working with brands in creative spaces and who want to ensure they are positioned to help maintain the reputations of those brands and minimise potential backlash risks.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 09.39
Tags: Annual Conference, Dublin, Emerging Issues, Appropriation,
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MARQUES does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this blog. The views are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of MARQUES. Seek professional advice before action on any information included here.

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