Region: France

Owner of well-known mark avoids genericness

In the trademark field, fame has a price – trademarks can be so well known that they become generic and lose their trademark status. Therefore, the owners of popular trademarks are constantly trying to protect their property. The owner of the DIVX mark is particularly active in this respect, as demonstrated in a recent case before the Paris Court of Appeal.

27 April 2011

Online copyright infringement: when Google Images finally meets French law

While Google’s exemption from liability for trademark infringement through its AdWords service has now been well established by the Supreme Court, the situation with regard to copyright infringement remains more uncertain. The latest service to be considered is the Google Images search, in regard to which the Paris Court of Appeal recently issued a long-awaited ruling.

09 March 2011

Online betting: court cancels trademarks of past monopoly beneficiary

In recent years, the fierce competition among the various actors in the online betting industry has seen many trademark disputes come before the French courts. In the latest development, the Paris Court of First Instance has dealt with a new kind of trademark dispute involving past beneficiaries of the state-regulated monopoly and new private operators.

15 December 2010

Appeal court upholds eBay's liability, but reduces damages

The Paris Court of Appeal recently confirmed that eBay was liable for infringement of the rights of French luxury brand owners the LVMH group by allowing the sale of counterfeit goods on its auction sites . However, the appeal court significantly reduced the amount of the damages awarded to LVMH, from €38.6 million to €5.7 million.

22 September 2010

New appeal court rulings add confusion to sports issues

In two decisions issued in late 2009 the Paris Court of Appeal was asked whether the owners of trademarks ROLAND GARROS and JUVENTUS could prevent online betting sites from using these signs to identify and/or promote their services. The court took a different stance in each case.

07 April 2010

Google Books infringes French copyrights, but not trademarks

The Paris High Court has found Google Inc liable for copyright infringement just as it is about to launch Google Editions, which allows consumers to purchase books previewed on Google Books. It held that Google infringed numerous protected works by digitising and displaying them on Google Books without the authorisation of the relevant copyright owners.

03 February 2010

Court finds that eBay benefits from hosting services provider defence

The Paris Court of First Instance has rejected L'Oréal SA’s claims of trademark infringement against eBay, holding that the latter was acting as a hosting services provider in supplying announcement spaces against remuneration. However, the court highlighted the fact that trademark owners and eBay must collaborate to fight counterfeiting, and called for the parties to go to mediation.

24 June 2009

Jurisdiction in online infringement cases: “substantial link” theory confirmed

In an eagerly awaited decision, the Criminal Chamber of the French Supreme Court has confirmed the applicability of the ‘substantial link’ theory in criminal cases involving the infringement of IP rights on foreign websites. The decision puts an end to the theory that the French courts will automatically have jurisdiction to hear online infringement cases provided that the foreign website is accessible from France.

28 January 2009

New dispute resolution procedure for ".fr" domain names

AFNIC, the registry responsible for the ".fr" country-code top-level domain, has implemented a new online dispute resolution procedure dedicated to “obvious” infringements. The most significant advantage is that AFNIC now handles the whole procedure itself, from examination of the application to enforcement of the decision.

22 October 2008

Use of trademarks as keywords: Supreme Court requests ECJ ruling

In recent years the French courts have tended to find search engines liable for selling trademarks as keywords, although the legal grounds for such decisions have varied widely. However, this situation may soon be resolved since the Supreme Court has requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice on these issues in three cases against Google.

02 July 2008

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