Upcycling is more ecologically beneficial than recycling since it does not involve smelting or burning. Designer brands’ paper bags, for example, are transformed into mobile phone holders and a variety of other goods. Due to modifications in their appearance and functions, with well-known brand labels still visible, upcycled items often have a high market value. From the brand owner’s perspective, this upcycling trend brings several challenges in its efforts to maintain its brand reputation.
According to the WTO, trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or misconception about the source of the goods and/or services.