France: Trademark Law is Changing!

France: Trademark Law is Changing!

The end of 2019 was rich in new legislative and regulatory changes for trademark law in France, with new rules instigated by a series of legislative acts.

The changes in trademark law in France will take place in two stages.

Most of them came into effect on December 11th, 2019 and are aimed to harmonization of trademark rules within the European Union:

  • Extension of the types of mark open for registration;
  • Extension of the renewal period (early opening);
  • Increase in the number of rights on which an opposition proceeding may be based (previously: only one prior mark) and adaptation of the associated proceedings;
  • Division of trademarks possible even after registration of said mark;
  • New administrative proceeding for opposition, invalidity and for forfeiture of a trademark;
  • Reorganization of appeals against decisions of the Trademark Office;
  • Reorganization of the system of certification and collective trademarks,
  • Registration of addition or removal of a representative;
  • Modification of the governmental single-class tax system, since tax for filing and renewal of a trademark are now due by class (the flat-rate for three classes no longer exist);

The new provisions will be effective to registrations / applications filed on or after December 11th, 2019.

A second wave of modifications will take effect on April 1st, 2020. It will concern recourse against decisions of the French Trademark Office as well as the introduction of new administrative proceeding for invalidity and revocation of a trademark and subsequent modifications of them, allowing the connection between judicial and administrative procedures.

More details on the recent changes will be provided upon request. We will closely monitor the implementation of the chsanges and give opinion based on the new rules.