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Marie Sonnier-Poquillon: "the best way to protect a wine brand name is to stick to basics"

Par Vitisphere Le 29 janvier 2013
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Marie Sonnier-Poquillon:
D

uring a conference dealing with wine brand protection, the lawyer Marie Sonnier-Poquillon (Enst & Young) made a point about brand names. She recalled that the french National Institute for Intellectual Property (INPI) does not check the historic or availability of a trademark, but check its compliance with French and European regulations. She advises "not only to check the availability of the mark on the INPI website, but also (and this gets subjective) to check that there is no preexisting brand close to your brand name. It is a necessity to check that no confusion could occure. This checking is not limited to wine brands (Class 33 for the INPI), but to the 45 possible classes! This feature is due to the Evin French law, which restricts advertising."

"The best way to protect your wine brand is to keep it simple and essential. It is better to focus on distinctive features. Too often the entire wine label is filed as a trademark, but there are many non-distinctive intel on it (product of France, alcoholic degrees...). And it is better to separate a logo from its brand when trademarking, in order to gain flexibility in case of modification. We must not forget that a trademark registration lasts 10 years in France and that you will not always be notified at the end of this period."

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