29 April 2020Jurisdiction reportsAurélia Marie

France jurisdiction report: New trademark rules take effect

The Order No 2019-1169 of November 13, 2019, incorporating the provisions of Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of December 16, 2015, is applicable since December 11, 2019, and has introduced important changes in the French law.

First, the requirement of a graphical representation is abandoned in order to make the application of “non-traditional” trademarks possible by updated technical means.

New official fees are applicable with the possibility to file and renew for one class only. Also, the absolute grounds for refusal now include appellations of origin, geographical indications, traditional terms for wine and traditional specialities guaranteed, and earlier plant variety denominations.

In addition, provisions relating to collective trademarks are amended and certification trademarks are superseded by guarantee trademarks.


The opposition procedure is now available to new prior rights: company names, commercial names, and domain names which do not apply only locally, if there exists a likelihood of confusion for the public; and reputed trademarks when the use of the later trademark without due cause would take unfair advantage of, or be detrimental to, the distinctive character or the repute of the earlier trademark.

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