Dispute over "Ceausescu" trade mark

German news sites RP-Online and Stern.de report on a slightly unusual trade mark related dispute in Romania. Valentin Ceausescu the son of former Romanian communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu is suing the Odeon theatre in Bucharest (left) for performing a play on his late parents called "The Last Hours of Ceausescu". Interestingly, Mr Valentin Ceausescu appears to be basing his claim on an infringement of the trade mark "Ceausescu" rather than an infringement of privacy or post-mortal personality rights.

The play in question "The Last Hours of Ceausescu" was created by the International Institute of Political Murder which is based in Berlin and Zurich and describes the last hours in the life of Mr. Ceausescu's parents. It is reported that Mr Ceausescu is suing for nominal damages of 0.25 Euro only as this was a matter of "principle" for him - no one should be allowed to use the name Ceausescu without consent. Foreign theatres, outside of Romania, are not reportedly affected.

It is not quite clear from the report whether a trade mark registration for "Ceausescu" exists but this Kat, while not having found any Ceausescu marks, assumes that there might be a Romanian trade mark registration in place. The reports further quotes Alexandru Ulmeanu, the lawyer acting for the Odeon theatre Bucharest, as saying that he was planning to challenge the "Ceausescu" trade mark. In his view it was an abusive registration which could set an unwanted precedent.

A hearing in this case has been scheduled for 4 November 2010.
Dispute over "Ceausescu" trade mark Dispute over "Ceausescu" trade mark Reviewed by Birgit Clark on Friday, September 17, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. Surely that conclusion should read "set an unwanted president."

  2. Article 5 TMD

    The registered trade mark shall confer on the proprietor exclusive rights therein. The proprietor shall be entitled to prevent all third parties not having his consent from USING IN THE COURSE OF TRADE:
    (a) any sign which is identical with the trade mark in relation to goods or services which are identical with those for which the trade mark is registered [...] etc..

  3. I don't know anything about the Ceausescus', but I know that the Romanian IPO (OSIM) is the only one EU IPO without online TM data base; that their TM Act misses the priority date as a standpoint to determine the earlier mark and the examination follows this practice despite Art. 4 of the Paris Convention; that the same office violates Art. 6quinquies Paris ...


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