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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Mrz 05, 2020 (Newsletter Issue 3/20)
France
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Changes to Trademark Law


The French Trademark Law has been changed by the Ordinance n°2019-1169 dated November 13, 2019 and Decree No. 2019-1316 dated December 9, 2019, transposing into national law the provisions of the EU Directive No. 2015/2436.

The new French Trade Mark Provisions bring major changes, concerning trademark filing, opposition, registration and renewal procedures and changes to the fee. They entered into force on December 11, 2019.

Important changes are the following:

- Requirement of graphical representation of trademarks abandoned:
Signs such as sound, motion, multimedia marks or holograms are now registrable.

- Revised filing fees:
A fee-per-class system has been introduced, which replaces the flat-rate system for the first three classes.

- Distinguishing between certification and collective marks:
Clarification of status of a collective mark provided

- Procedure for renewing French trademarks amended:
A French trademark can now be renewed within one year before its expiry date (previously 6 months). No longer can a trademark application be combined with a renewal of a trademark. Renewal fees have been increased.

- Opposition procedure changed:
Prior rights in support of an opposition gave been extended. In addition to prior trademarks it is now possible to also include the name of public entities, company names, trade names, Business names, signs, domain name whose scope is not only local.
A single opposition can now be based on several prior rights, that belong to the same holder.
Further, a new procedural timetable of opposition has been introduced. A simple online form must be completed within one month with arguments and evidence in support to start an opposition proceeding with the French National Institute for Industrial Property (INPI).
Also, genuine use of the earlier trademark subject to the obligation to use is now checked by the INPI for each of the goods or services on which the opposition is based.

On April 1, 2020, a new administrative procedures for the invalidity and revocation of trademarks will come into force. Jurisdiction to hear actions for the invalidity or revocation of a trademark will be transferred exclusively to INPI. Further, appeals to the Court of Appeals against INPI decisions will be simplified and harmonised.


Source: www.inpi.fr; www.fieldfisher.com; www.nortonrosefulbright.com