The reform of trademark law in France known as the " Loi Pacte ", the first measures of which came into force on December 11, 2019 and which is part of a broader process of harmonization of trademark law within the European Union, has introduced an important change relating to the representation of the trademark.
The formal requirement that the trademark must be "a sign capable of being represented graphically" has been removed.
From now on, the trademark may be represented in any appropriate form by means of commonly available technology, provided that it is represented in a clear, precise, distinct, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective manner.
Thus, the trademark does no longer need to be represented by graphic means and may, for example, be represented by an electronic audio, audiovisual or video file.
This amendment has therefore opened the way for new types of so-called "non-traditional" trademarks (e.g., multimedia marks, hologram marks). It also broadened the possibilities of representation of the trademark, which makes it easier for applicants to file certain categories of trademarks.
More specifically, it is now possible to apply for registration in France for the following types of trademarks:
A word mark is composed exclusively of one or more words or letters, numbers, or other standard typographical characters or a combination of several of these elements.
A figurative mark may consist exclusively of a figurative element such as a design, a logo, or a combination of verbal and figurative elements (semi-figurative mark) and has graphic features, a particular stylization, a colour or a combination of colours.
A colour mark is a mark consisting of the representation of a single colour (without contours) or a combination of colours (without contours).
A shape mark consists of a three-dimensional shape. It can be the shape of the product itself or that of its packaging (packaging, container).
A position mark is a trademark consisting of the specific way in which the trademark is placed or affixed to the product.
A pattern mark consists exclusively of the regular repetition of a set of elements.
A motion mark is defined as a trademark consisting of a movement or change in position of the elements that constitute the mark. In addition to the movement itself, the mark may include words, figurative elements in black and white or colour, etc. .... but must not be associated with sounds.
A video file without sound or a series of sequential fixed images showing the movement or change in position must be provided when the trademark is filed.
A sound mark consists exclusively of a sound or a combination of sounds. A faithful representation of the sound in musical notation (musical score) or an audio file reproducing the sound must be provided upon filing.
The multimedia mark consists of a combination of images and sounds. It must be represented by an audiovisual file containing both the sound and the image.
The hologram mark is composed of elements with holographic characteristics.
A hologram mark must be represented by submitting either a video file without sound, or a graphic or photographic reproduction of the hologram mark containing the views that may be necessary to sufficiently identify the holographic effect in its entirety.
On the other hand, the possibility of registering olfactory or taste marks or tactile marks is not yet possible, as the current state of technology does not allow these types of marks to be represented in a clear, precise, distinct, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective manner.
Whatever the type of trademark, the applicant will need to pay special attention to the representation of the sign to be registered according to the type of trademark to be protected. Indeed, the representation of the trademark defines the purpose of the registration and its scope of protection, so that an unclear or imprecise representation could lead to the rejection of the application for registration or to the cancellation of the registered trademark or to an inadequate or incomplete scope of protection.
Feel free to contact our Firm for any question relating to the protection of your traditional or "non-traditional" trademarks as well as for any assistance in the registration procedure of such trademarks.
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