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IP protection of pictograms

IP protection of pictograms

In our time of digital communication, the pictograms, these basic symbols conveying universally recognized and fully understood information, also intend to be used as a badge of origin. But can these simple and meaningful signs be perceived as identifying the commercial origin of the products or services offered? According to the law and case law, pictograms indicating a mode of use, or that...

Law and Intellectual Property as growth boosters

Law and Intellectual Property as growth boosters

This article is the transcription of a presentation by Manuel ROCHE, Industrial property attorney and President of the International Relations Committee of the CNCPI (the French Patent and Trademark Attorneys Institute), during the international symposium “Paris, European hub for business, digital, IP and tech law” which took place the 11th of October 2018, at the Tribunal de grande instance de...

Monkey Selfies: the end

Monkey Selfies: the end

In 2014, we told you about the surprising case of photographer David J. Slater and the famous Monkey Selfies (here). David Slater had filed a take-down request to remove from Wikimedia the photographs he had brought back from Indonesia. At that time, Wikimedia rejected the request considering that the photographs were taken by monkeys, crested black macaques, and that no copyright could subsist...

Commercial free-riding for non-profit organizations

What do an animal protection society and associations promoting natural filiation and lobbying against same-sex marriage have in common? According to the First Instance Court of Paris, they share advertising campaigns with the same concept (judgment of 23 November 2017, 3rd chamber, 4th section). However, it was not because of a mutual decision or by mere chance but because the latter tried to...

INSCRIPTA meets businesses at Paris Chamber of Commerce

[INSCRIPTA] is proud to be an official partner of Paris Chamber of Commerce for the next International Business Meetings taking place 27 November 2017 in Paris. The event is dedicated to helping companies expand their business overseas by meeting experts on various international matters. [INSCRIPTA] will be hosting a workshop on: Intellectual Property and Online Business Keys to international...

CNCPI Workshop – Digital Business and IP

CNCPI Workshop is the annual event intended to businesses and individuals to increase information and promote public awareness on intellectual property issues. The French Patent and Trademark Attorneys Institute (CNCPI), will organize the 2017 workshop on 7 November 2017 in several major French cities on the topic: "Digital Business and IP". It will address all necessary and useful legal advice...

Another Adwords case…

Here is another case of a trademark being used as a keyword to trigger commercial results on Google search engine. The facts are not original. The court’s decision is not either. However, it is a good opportunity to remind where the French courts stand on the question of commercial advertisement on internet search engines. A company selling gothic products online filed a trademark infringement...

Trademark defence on the internet – The Chantelle case

We recently commented the Vinci case and the misappropriation of domain names such as vinci.group or vinci-group.com (here) to warn about the necessity of monitoring marks on the internet, which is the only solution to be able to react fast and prevent or at least limit damages due to the infringement. Trademark watch on the internet is only the first step of a defence strategy (See our watch...

Valentine’s day flowers

A few months ago, we commented the judgment of the Court of First instance of Paris of 29 January 2016 which denied copyright protection to promotional pictures of flowers published on an e-commerce web site because of their lack of originality (here). Before the Court of Appeals of Paris, the claim for copyright infringement was dropped, the appellant focusing its complaint on the notion of...

New: e-Soleau is online

Although they do not provide any legal protection, Soleau envelopes, named after their inventor, are a low-cost way of ascertaining the date of one’s creations in France. Until now, creations were to be carefully described in two identical copies each of them respectively placed in both compartments of a Soleau envelope. Once it was sealed and registered before the INPI (French PTO) through a...

Trademark watch on the internet – The Vinci case

[INSCRIPTA] regularly alerts companies to the necessity of monitoring their marks in order to know when it is used or misused by competitors or other parties. For instance, let’s remind our readers that a French trademark application or registration does not automatically bar subsequent trademark applications from being registered, even if they are identical. In fact, the French Patent and...

Internet domain names and unfair competition

Is it fair registering your competitor’s domain name? Let’s hope that among our readers the vast majority already has the answer. Of course not! At best, registering your competitor’s domain name would be made to disrupt your competitor’s communication. At worst, it would be an attempt to attract internet users to your online location by creating a likelihood of confusion with your competitor’s...

Preventing unauthorized use of a trademark in online advertising services

Under the influence of Community law, it has become difficult if not impossible for an operator to oppose to any use of its own trademark in keywords leading to commercial ads for competing web sites through a search engine (1). Currently, a trademark owner may only prohibit the unauthorized use of its trademark as a keyword combined to the text of an ad if there exists a likelihood of confusion...

Weston puts its foot down

Famous French shoemaker JM WESTON recently obtained from the Court of Appeals of Paris a judgment condemning DR MARTENS E-COMMERCE LLC and AIRWAIR INTERNATIONAL LTD (hereinafter DR MARTENS) for trademark infringement and unfair competition (1). The case was quite classic, somehow very simple. On the one hand, WESTON is a registered trademark in France in connection with shoes (2). On the other...

Fair use of a trademark

Trademark rights are often compared to monopolistic rights. There are however some significant exceptions such as the one provided by Article L.713-6, b) of the French Intellectual Property Code. “Registration of a mark shall not prevent use of the same sign or a similar sign as: […] b) The necessary reference to state the intended purpose of the product or service, in particular as an accessory...

French Minister of Culture grapples with copyrighted work

Last March 16, French Minister of Culture and Communication Fleur Pellerin posted on Twitter a photograph reproducing paintings by French artist Pierre Bonnard, apparently taken with her smartphone whilst visiting an exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris (1). Some people immediately criticized her for not having observed the numerous signs in the museum prohibiting photographs by visitors. On...

How to defend a key-word match domain name?

Operators of very popular websites with a descriptive address regarding their activities must develop a specific strategy for the protection of their rights if they are to have a chance to defend them effectively. Indeed, the owner of a key-word match domain name will encounter difficulties to prevent its competitors using those words in their ordinary meaning. Much more, he would certainly have...

Launch of dotPARIS: Last chance for trademark holders

Businesses have until November 11th to register on a priority basis their trademark or company names as a domain name.paris. The dotPARIS is open to all natural and legal persons: present in the Greater Paris area or; justifying professional, personal, commercial or cultural activities in the Greater Paris area or; justifying any other direct or indirect relationship with the Greater Paris area....

When monkeys take their own selfies

Considering the worldwide press coverage of the last few weeks, it is difficult not to have heard about the monkey selfie case opposing wildlife British photographer David J. Slater (1) to Wikipedia’s Wikimedia web site about who shall be the owner of the copyright over the monkey selfies taken while Slater was on Sulawesi Island in Indonesia. After following and shadowing a group of Crested...

Worldwide jurisdiction of French courts for IP infringement on the Internet

We recently commented on the new French law of 11 March 2014 aiming to fight against the infringement of intellectual and industrial property rights (1). With that law, France has taken a major step forward and must clearly be considered as one of the most advanced country as regards the protection for IP rights. It seems that the Cour de cassation, which is the highest French civil court, has...

Internet and the right to be forgotten: obligations of search engines

The right to be forgotten on the internet is a sensitive and complex societal issue at the crossroads between respect for right to privacy, protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons, general interest in freedom of information, freedom of expression and communication, duty of memory. A comprehensive and major reform of the EU legal framework on the protection of...

Copyright over web sites

Creating a web site requires functional, technical and even esthetic qualities. But is it enough to consider all web sites may be protected by copyright? The Court of Appeals of Rennes (in Brittany, France) has just decided it does not. In its judgment dated 13 May 2014, the Court dismissed the action brought against her former employer (a web design agency) by a computer graphics designer who...

INSCRIPTA’s interview in French magazine Informations Entreprise

[INSCRIPTA] has been interviewed by French magazine "Informations Entreprise" as part of a dossier dedicated to intellectual and industrial property and French Patent and Trademark Attorneys. Founding partners of [INSCRIPTA] Agnès DOYEN and Manuel ROCHE were given the opportunity to explain how they view their work and to remind that building a strategy for protection and defense of intellectual...

A capital top-level domain: .PARIS

When will the new top-level domain (TLD) .PARIS (Dot PARIS) be available? How much will it cost? We do not know yet (*). But one thing is already certain: the City of Paris intends to make this new TLD a rallying point of the Paris community and a sign of commitment to this area. Another purpose of the City of Paris is also to preserve and develop the reputational heritage of Paris associated...

Trademark law and descriptive domain names

In an overcrowded web and a very competitive e-commerce retail market, search engines optimization is one of the cornerstones of success. Due to the recent changes to Google’s algorithm, there are fewer incentives to use descriptive names. During several years however, choosing a key-word match domain name was a good way to get found online and have a prominent place in search results. Since a...

Focus on the Domain Name System: The launch of the first four New gTLDs / Donuts Domain Protected Marks list

October 23, 2013 became a memorable date in the short history of the Internet: the largest-ever expansion of the Domain Name System began with the delegation of four new extensions. The choice to first launch generic top level domain names in non-Latin script, called internationalized domain names (IDN gTLDs) demonstrates ICANN's efforts to create a globally-inclusive Internet, regardless of...

Participation in the 11th Intellectual and Digital Property Day on November 26, 2013

Agnès DOYEN, as a member of the Trademark Commission of the CNCPI (French company of Industrial Property Attorneys), will participate in the 11th Intellectual and Digital Property Day on November 26, 2013, which takes place at UIC - Espace Congrès, in Paris. During this day, the speakers will share their knowledge and provide contributions on the legal risks inherent in Web 2.0 digital issues,...

Seizing presumed counterfeit goods on the internet is (almost) possible!

Last April, the Court of Appeal of Paris declared valid the seizing process performed by a bailiff consisting of, first, making an official report according to which the alleged counterfeit goods could be bought and ordered through the internet and, second, proceeding with a detailed description of the delivered allegedly infringing articles in his own office and without the seized party being...

Beware of scams related to trademarks in France and Europe

In France and in other European countries, for several years now, commercial companies directly contact the owners of industrial property rights to offer unnecessary trademark management services. With the increasing digitization and the development of online accessibility of national, regional and international registers of industrial property rights, the phenomenon has amplified....

Commercial hyperlinks – Special dossier on European and French case law

Commercial hyperlinks basics For several years now, with the development of the e-commerce, web search engines have been proposing commercial advertising services which consist in generating, in addition to natural search results, alternative commercial results or ads in response to a given query by internet users. Advertisers may select and enter specific keywords that, when typed in the web...

Pirates’ freedom of expression restricted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)

The European Court of Human Rights recently declared inadmissible the complaint filed by two founding members of the website The Pirate Bay that their convictions for copyright infringement by Swedish courts interfered with their right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the Convention (ECHR, 19 February 2013, Fredrik NEIJ and Peter SUNDE KOLMISOPPI against Sweden, Application...

Grand opening of the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH)

The creation of new domain names extensions or new generic top-level domains (new gTLDs) before ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers) represents a true technical and legal revolution in the digital world. It also means great risks for trademark owners that their trademarks be stolen from them. For example, what if a new gTLD reproducing a trademark is created by a person...

INSCRIPTA, French and European Trademark Attorneys law firm

INSCRIPTA, French and European Trademark Attorneys law firm, is pleased to announce its official opening, after several weeks of preparation. Our firm welcomes you in Paris, France, at 10 rue d'Aumale in the ninth arrondissement. INSCRIPTA shares its offices with an Attorney at Law firm and wants to be your partner of choice for every legal aspect of your business related to intellectual and...