Geographical indications protecting industrial and handmade products and modifications of trademark opposition procedure

Henceforth next to the AOC and IGP (protected geographical indication) the so-called “alimentary”, the geographical indications protecting industrial and handmade products (French abbreviation IGPIA),

non-alimentary, can now be subject of a similar protection in France.

These IGPIA concern any kind of manufactured products, from the moment that they originate from a particular geographical area and that they show some characteristics essentially allocated to their origin.

The Decree n°2015-595 of June 2nd, 2015 determines the terms and conditions of grant of the protection. The protection is submitted to the validation of a bill of specifications. The validation must necessarily be presented before INPI at the initiative of an Organism of Defence and Management (French abbreviation ODG) designed to gather all the professionals interested in the protection of the same geographical indication.

Furthermore, a logo dedicated to these new geographical indications will be affixed on the product, on its packaging or on its labelling since the bill of specifications is respected.

This decree also specifies the terms to oppose the registration of a trademark for regional authorities, as well as owner of geographical indications.

Indeed, just like owners of prior trademarks, regional authorities now benefit from the right to file an opposition against the registration of a trademark, within two months from the date of publication of the application, on the basis of a violation of the name, image or reputation of a regional authority.

The ODGs also have this right, on the basis of their IGPIA, to contest the registration of a trademark designating goods similar to the ones protected by the geographical indication. A specific opposition procedure is forecasted at INAO’s initiative on the basis of AOC or IGP. For more information, we invite you to contact us.

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