In 2008, the Industrial Property National Institure (INPI) noticed a sudden decrease concerning the application of the trademark titles. In 2009, in spite of the crisis, the INPI noted an important increase of the claims by the small and medium-sized enterprises, due to the step simplification such as the trademark’s registration on line.
In order to protect the trademark, a sign shall be chosen in regard to the article L. 711-1 of the “Code de Propriété Intellectuelle”. The sign could be as follow:
>nominal trademark : it could be a nominal trademark (words, family name, name accessories), geographic names, non verbal nominal trademark (letter, numbers, initials), slogans, fantasy terms, sound trademark, if it can be represent by a graphic
figurative trademark, signs able to be seen tactile or olfactory trademark if it can be represented by a graphic
Once the sign has been chosen, the trademark must fulfil some conditions. First of all, it shall be licit, it cannot be contrary to the public order, to the moral and must comply with some legal disposals regarding the use of certain signs. In addition, the sign shall not cheat the public. Moreover, the sign shall have a distinctive character. In that regard, the sign shall not be the usual way of nominate the products or services and shall not be simply descriptive or figurative. Finally, the sign shall be available, devoid of any right owned by a third party. As a consequence, it is important to watch over the precedent opposable rights, such as the sign violating a precedent trademark, or reaching a company name, trade name or ensign, or author’s rights.
Trademark’s record confers to the owner a property right for all the products and services designed according to the principle settled out in the article L. 713-1 of the CPI. The owner is the only one to benefit from the trademark exploitation right that is to reproduce, to affix, to use or to withdraw the trademark from products. This exploitation monopoly is opposable to anybody on the national territory. The protection gave by the record is applied to any similarly product and services to the one aimed in the record. In that regard, all the acts that can be done by third parties without the owner’s consent are set out in the articles L. 713-2 and L. 713-3 of the CPI.
The trademark’s owner shall exploit the trademark. If he does not exploit it, he may incur the defeat of his right. That is the reason why he has to defend his trademark and renew his application.
Other limits opposable to the owner are coming either from the French law and the European law concerning the third parties rights about the social denomination, commercial name, ensign as well as the exception which favours the accessories manufacturers. Another limit concerns the lawfully trademark’s quotation in comparative advertisement. Finally, the owner shall have the right to forbid different type of offence done the trademark’s right particularly the counterfeit.