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French Trade Marks
(in French 'Marques' and/or 'Signes distinctifs') -
a brief overview

In its articles L 771-1 et seq the French Code of Intellectual Property seeks to protect, for example, distinctive marks or names in the fields of industry and commerce, or indeed the services sector, or trade names which refer to the geographical or other origin of a product or service, etc.

The essential criteria which are necessary in order to obtain protection of such a trade mark or name are

- that the trade mark or name should not be illicit and thus marks or names which are immoral or contrary to public order may not be protected, nor may trade marks or names likely to confuse or deceive third parties be protected

- that the trade mark or name should be distinctive - it should be capable of identifying a product or service compared to others of the same nature put forward by a competitor and it must be different from the usual designation of the object referred to and differ from as simple description of the object

- that the trade mark or name should be available - protection may not be offered if a third party has already acquired an intellectual right over the mark or name in the same sector, although under French Law certain international names or marks which have become well known are not subject to this condition.
The foregoing is not intended to be exhaustive and for specific information relating to French Trade Marks, please click here  .

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