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Executive Summaries May 26, 2021

France: Easier Invalidity and Revocation Proceedings for Non-Used Marks

Since April 1st, 2020, France has implemented new rules facilitating invalidity and revocation of trademarks for non-use.

Previously, only the civil courts had jurisdiction to do so, which made the process very costly. This new simplified and less expensive process is ideal if your trademark is not available in France because a similar trademark has already been registered by a third party.

Here are the changes that now need to be considered:

  • Invalidity or revocation of a trademark for non-use may be requested directly to the Registrar, once the registration has been issued for five years.
  • Any person may institute such proceedings without any need to justify its interest in doing so.
  • No prescription period applies.

The purpose of these adjustments is to render these proceedings faster and more efficient: henceforth, their ruling time should not exceed nine months.

It is undeniable that such changes will unclutter the register of non-used trademarks.

However, if you already own trademarks in France, it is essential to ensure that they are used in association with all the products and services listed in their registrations. Indeed, a failure to use your trademarks could expose them to invalidity or revocation proceedings filed by a third party.

In light of these changes, it's time to review your projects on the French market!

Along the same lines, we invite you to read our recent article on the possibility of initiating expungement proceedings in the United States against a mark that is not used by its owner on the US market.

We can assist you in this regard. For more information, contact our trademark team, who will be pleased to answer your questions with respect to your trademark needs in Canada, in France and internationally.

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