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Religions 2017, 8(11), 246; doi:10.3390/rel8110246

Protection of Religious Signs under Trademark Law: A Perspective of China’s Practice

School of Law, Zhejiang Gongshang University, No. 18, Xuezheng Str., Xiasha University Town, Hangzhou 310018, China
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 8 November 2017 / Published: 9 November 2017
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Abstract

This article looks at how religious signs are increasingly used in trade and how misappropriation can be harmful to the identity and preservation of religious cultures. Research has shown that trademark rules can be used to help prevent such issues occurring in trade. Some religious entities have also taken trademark strategies to safeguard their religious signs. Considering that religious signs are generally regarded as common patrimony, a balanced system is more beneficial to both the public and trademark proprietors. This research delves into the theory that the trademark system should ensure that the non-commercial use of religious signs used for historical, cultural and social purposes, remains in the public domain. By analyzing China’s practice of protecting religious signs, this article finds that despite the success of certain religious entities in safeguarding religious trademarks, their approach is not necessarily feasible for wide application. The article suggests that the government should do more to protect religious signs by using trademark rules under which any signs detrimental to religious identity, value or culture should be refused for registration and prohibited from use. Also, in certain cases, social organizations and individuals should be entitled and encouraged to participate in the protection of religious signs. View Full-Text
Keywords: religious signs; religious beliefs; trademark protection; misappropriation; distinctiveness; the public order and morality religious signs; religious beliefs; trademark protection; misappropriation; distinctiveness; the public order and morality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, W. Protection of Religious Signs under Trademark Law: A Perspective of China’s Practice. Religions 2017, 8, 246.

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