IHMA welcomes new move to protect holograms
The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) has welcomed a move which could lead to holograms being specifically covered under a national trademark law for the first time.
It follows news from Taiwan where government authorities have introduced a bill to expand the types of representation protected by trademark law by including holograms, 3D shapes and movements for the first time.
The idea is that anything that serves to 'identify' something, whether in the form of words, patterns, graphics, colors, holograms or sounds, could be submitted for trademark protection in Taiwan.
The IHMA says that this will boost the protection of the intellectual property rights of holograms and will be a boon for brand owners looking to protect their products and market share.
Holograms have to date been deemed to be covered by copyright law (as covered in the Berne Conventions) and the European Community Design Rights, but they have not been specifically mentioned in any national legislation on trademark or copyright.
The Taiwanese move is therefore a step forward for the 'normalisation' of holograms as a protected item.
Wang Mei-hua, director-general of Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs' Intellectual Property Office (IPO), said that if the revised law is passed, animation and holograms that appear on mobile phones could also receive trademark protection.
She said the Nokia Corp image that appears when its cell phones are turned on has already been registered as a trademark in several countries and the firm could also apply for protection in Taiwan if the draft bill is passed.
The Trademark Act amendment approved by the Legislative Economic Committee will add animations (movement), laser logo (hologram) and three-dimensional shapes to the current legal recognition of a trademark as a word, figure, symbol, color, sound, three-dimensional shape or a combination thereof'.
Glenn Wood, US media representative for the IHMA, welcomed the news, adding: "This has got to be seen as a step in the right direction as holograms play a vital part in the battle to stem the flood of counterfeit goods emanating from Taiwan and other parts of the world.
"It should help all involved in anti-counterfeiting and brand protection and could pave the way for similar moves around the world, which has to come eventually."