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Jul 14, 2015
Charlotte Urman, Inlex IP Expertise, France
Tifenn Meillot, Inlex IP Expertise, France

New French legal protection for geographical names

Charlotte Urman, Inlex IP Expertise, France, Tifenn Meillot, Inlex IP Expertise, FranceProtection of geographic names by trademarks has often been questionable in the European case law and this was particularly true in France these last months.
Indeed, the Laguiole saga with several years of legal proceedings where the municipality of “Laguiole” was simply dispossessed of its name for its historic activity (Laguiole was finally considered by the French courts as descriptive in the field of cutlery!) has been followed by numerous popular protests and a great lobbying work.

A new law has then been adopted on March 17, 2014 (called the "Hamon law"). This law has created a new category of right for geographical names: the "Geographical Indications protecting Industrial and Hand-crafted products ("IGPIA" in French). These IGPIA concern any type of manufactured products provided they are from a particular geographical area and they have specific characteristics due to their origin (quality, reputation, etc. ...). For over a year, the operators of the concerned market, relative to Industrial and Hand-crafted products having a link with their
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