State names as trademarks

Marina Perraki       The issue of registration of state names as trademarks has recently been the subject of a Paris Court of Appeal ruling (22 September 2017). The US company France.com Inc. was the proprietor of the domain name “france.com” registered since 1994. The Dutch company Traveland Resorts registered in its own name a number of French and EU trademarks (word and figurative) “France.com” in 2009 and 2010. The US company brought proceedings against the Dutch company before the French courts in 2014. Subsequently, the Dutch company transferred the trademarks to the US company. The French State and the GIE Atout France (the French national tourism organization) intervened in the court proceedings between the two companies asking initially that all the marks and the domain name be transferred to the French State and subsequently that the marks be annulled or surrendered. The Paris Court of First Instance found the…

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