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Title: The authority of states to use names in international law and the Macedonian affair: Unilateral entitlements, historic title, and trademark analogies
Authors: Bantekas, I
Keywords: Geographic designation;Historic title;Macedonia;Prior use;Unilateral acts
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press for Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law
Citation: Leiden Journal of International Law, 22(3), 563 - 582, 2009
Abstract: The international legal entitlement by which a state constitutionally designates its name, or a province therein, involves a unilateral act. Where, however, another state wishes to choose the same appellation, as is the case with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the matter can only be resolved by reference to the first user and the maxim prior in tempore potior in jure. The first user must provide evidence of continuous use and of protest in those cases where the same appellation was appropriated by a third state. Under such circumstances the entitlement becomes exclusive, rather than concurrent, because the prior user may be said to possess a sound historic title, such that has been recognized by international judicial bodies to determine acquisition of territory, effective administration, historic bays, and so on. The exclusivity of the entitlement is further reinforced by analogy with general principles derived from the law of trademarks. At a practical level, the application of the international law of geographical indications clearly demonstrates that the designation ‘Macedonia’ cannot be used for a significant number of products originating in FYROM, since the Greek province of Macedonia has for a long time branded and registered such products. This will create insurmountable problems for producers in FYROM when they try to brand their goods under the country's constitutional name. A change of name, particularly through the compromisory use of a compound, would alleviate legal, political, and financial concerns.
Description: Copyright @ 2009 Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law.
ISSN: 0922-1565
Appears in Collections:Law
Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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