22 Oct 2021
Trade Mark Law and Artificial Intelligence

Online workshop Trade Mark Law and Artificial Intelligence


On 22 October 2021, Prof. Senftleben (University of Amsterdam), Prof. Gangjee (University of Oxford) and Dr. Moerland (University of Maastricht) will bring together a group of scholars, policy makers and private stakeholders who are all interested in the interface between artificial intelligence and trade marks, in particular how AI facilitates examination and enforcement, how AI-assisted consumers react to trade marks and whether sufficient transparency is guaranteed in these processes. 

Workshop Programme

Friday 22 October 2021, 2pm – 5pm CEST


Session 1: Scaling up: The impact of AI on trade mark examination, registration and enforcement

  • Speaker: Prof. Dev Gangjee, Faculty of Law and OIPRC, University of Oxford
  • Commentator 1: Dr. Daniel Seng, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore
  • Commentator 2: Christophe Mazenc, WIPO Director for Global Databases Service

Since the impact of AI in the trade mark space is more subtle, it has started to achieve widespread usage at considerable scale, with relatively little comment. Tens of thousands of decisions to apply for marks, challenge subsequent applications and (increasingly) enforcing trade mark rights online are influenced by AI assessments of mark and product similarity. This presentation maps out the remarkable achievements till date, their limits and some normative implications of this large scale automation of individual slices of trade mark decision making.


Session 2: The need for transparency with regard to the parameters that are used to target consumers in brand-based commercial communication

  • Speaker: Prof. Martin Senftleben
  • Commentator 1: Prof. Marco Ricolfi, University of Turin
  • Commentator 2: Prof. Graeme B. Dinwoodie, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

Session 3:  AI in online shopping – trade mark functions and the AI-assisted consumer

  • Speaker: Dr. Anke Moerland
  • Commentator 1: Lord Justice Richard Arnold, Judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales
  • Commentator 2: Dr. Łukasz Żelechowski, University of Warsaw, Department of Intellectual Property Law;

Along with our expert audience, we aim to explore whether trade marks still fulfil their role in a world in which consumers are assisted by AI technology when purchasing in the online market place. In how far do we still need trade marks to avoid consumer confusion? Or do the other functions of trade marks justify their continuous protection? If the answer is yes, and trade marks still play a role, we may need to adapt the concept of the average consumer in EU trade mark law to an AI-assisted consumer. In order to do so, a better understanding of how consumers act in online purchases when confronted with different types of AI mechanisms is needed.