Non-Traditional Trademark Protection as (Non-Traditional) Means of Cultural Control

Katya Assaf-Zakharov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Trademarks, or brands, are symbols whose initial purpose is providing information about the source of a product. Yet, with the course of time, high-end brands have developed into symbols providing information about their owner’s status rather than about the sold goods. This phenomenon naturally attracts imitation and status cheating, offering new challenges to established trademark doctrines. This chapter outlines the different legal perceptions of imitation in the U.S. and Continental Europe, while placing these perceptions into broader cultural contexts. It then focuses on the U.S. legal view on imitation of trademarks that serve as status symbols, pointing out that this view is “non-traditional” in American context, in the sense that it is inconsistent with U.S. traditional cultural values.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Protection of Non-Traditional Trademarks
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Perspectives
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780198826576
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Irene Calboli and Martin Senftleben 2018.


  • Cultural traditions
  • Imitation
  • Social mobility
  • Social stratification
  • Status signaling
  • USA, Continental Europe


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-Traditional Trademark Protection as (Non-Traditional) Means of Cultural Control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this