Exxon Corp. v. Exxon Insurance Consultants International Ltd

Exxon Corp. v. Exxon Insurance Consultants International Ltd

English case infobox
name=Exxon Corp. v. Exxon Insurance Consultants International Ltd
court=Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
date_decided=12 June 1981
full_name=Exxon Corporation and Exxon Insurance Consultants International Limited
citations= [1982] Ch. 119; [1981] 3 All E.R. 241; [1982] R.P.C. 69; (1981) 125 S.J. 527; Times, June 13, 1981
judges=Stephenson, L.J.; Sir David Cairns, L.J.; Oliver, L.J.
Cases_cited=DP Anderson & Co Ltd v Lieber Code Co, [1917] 2 K.B. 469 (KBD);

Hollinrake v Truswell, [1894] 3 Ch. 420 (CA)
Legislation_cited=Companies Act 1948 s. 18;
Companies Act 1948 s. 18(1);
Copyright Act 1956 s. 1;
Copyright Act 1956 s. 2;
Copyright Act 1956 s. 2(1) ;
Copyright Act 1956 s. 6;
Copyright Act 1956 s. 17;
Copyright Act 1956 s. 48;
Copyright Act 1911 s. 1;
Copyright Act 1911 s. 1(1) ;
Copyright Act 1911 s. 35;
Copyright Act 1842;
Trade Marks Act 1938 s. 9;
Trade Marks Act 1938 s. 9(1)(c) ;
Trade Marks Act 1919;
Rules of the Supreme Court Ord. 19;
Rules of the Supreme Court Ord. 19 r. 7;
Rules of the Supreme Court r. 7
prior_actions=Exxon Corp v Exxon Insurance Consultants International Ltd, [1981] 1 W.L.R. 624; [1981] 2 All E.R. 495; [1981] F.S.R. 238; (1981) 125 S.J. 342 (Ch D)
Keywords=Literary works; Trade names

"Exxon Corp. v. Exxon Insurance Consultants International Ltd" [Case citation| [1982] Ch. 119] is a leading decision in English law on the existence of copyright in a name alone and the infringement of a trade mark. The Court found that typically there is no copyright in a name, invented or otherwise, and that a trade mark can only be infringed when there the infringing party shares part of the market segment.Fact|date=May 2008


Exxon took the position that there is copyright in the word "Exxon" for two reasons. First, because they put considerable time and energy into the development of the name, and second, as there was a significant investment into creating the name it was an "original literary work". Further, they argued that size of a literary work does not matter.Fact|date=May 2008

The Court found that the name Exxon, while a trade mark, is only a word and as such is not capable of copyright protection. A word alone does not convey any information beyond its dictionary meaning and thus cannot be a literary work. Furthermore, allowing copyright in single words would overlap trademark law entirely and would make use of the word in public troublesome.Fact|date=May 2008

Trade mark

With regards to the trade mark, the Court found that the use of this word by the defendants who work in a field that in no way shares a market segment with the plaintiff in no way dilutes the plaintiff's brand name nor infringes on its trade mark.Fact|date=May 2008

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