A geographical name serves as a mean to identify a location. The latter has a big impact on the consumer as it inspires a feeling, or a memory linked to a country or a city name. For example, Monaco represents luxury, France makes you think of “savoir vivre” with fashion, art and wine, and Germany…Read more
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Protection of geographic names by trademarks have often been questionnable in the European case law and this was particularly true in France these last monthes.
Indeed, the Laguiole saga (see http://www.country-index.com/articles.aspx?ID=347) 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”) […]