A Global and Local Outlook
Elgar Intellectual Property Law and Practice series
Edited by Irene Calboli and Jacques de Werra
Chapter 17: FRENCH PERSPECTIVES ON TRADEMARK TRANSACTIONS: FROM THE CIVIL CODE TO THE BUSINESS LAW?
This chapter focuses on the analysis of the French perspective regarding trademark transactions. It is important to note in the beginning that French trademark law currently follows the general principles set forward by European Union (EU) law. In addition, the interpretation of French trademark law is directly influenced by the decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in this area. Presenting a French perspective on trademark law and trademark transactions can, therefore, be difficult in a legal environment that is less and less national and is, instead, harmonized throughout the EU. In fact, while there is certainly a European perspective on the issue, the question may now be whether there is still one from a national perspective, in this case a French perspective. Still, despite the process of EU harmonization, some elements of the trademark law remain clearly outside the realm of EU influence. This is true, in particular, for the rules on trademark transactions. More specifically, EU trademark law establishes the principle that a trademark can be assigned or licensed. But, the legal conditions under which trademarks are assigned or licensed are not directly established by EU law. Of course, any assignment or licensing agreement has to be in compliance with the EU competition law, but the substantial conditions of these agreements continue to be regulated under French contract law.
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