30 August 2022

What legal framework for NFTs? Overview of the analysis of the French Higher Council for Literary and Artistic Property

Given the extensive development of NFTs (“Non-Fungible Tokens”, Jeton Non Fongibles or “JNFs” in French), it had become urgent to assess the current legal situation and then to propose solutions or at least avenues of reflection to control their expansion, while respecting copyright and related rights (also known as neighboring rights).

This mission was entrusted to the Higher Council for Literary and Artistic Property (Conseil supérieur de la propriété littéraire et artistique) which presented its report on the subject on July 12, 2022.

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24 June 2022

On your (automotive) (trade)marks, get set, go!

Citroën can count on its chevrons, protected as a figurative trademark and confirmed as having a distinctive character by the Paris Court of Appeals in late 2021 and the EUIPO in April 2022, to block new competitor Polestar. Based in Sweden and car preparer for Volvo company, Polestar was unable to enter the French market of car manufacturers.

Insights on a two-stage legal battle and the distinctive signs that car manufacturers can use to protect their position and the related investments.

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28 April 2022

Eric Zemmour’s presidential campaign: A candidacy announcement out of the (legal) frame

This is a presidential campaign video which created a buzz. Eager to show France, its history, its knowledge and its culture, Eric Zemmour illustrated his words with many images, without any authorization from the holders of the rights to the footage used. Could he rely on the copyright exception known as the “short quotation exception” (known as exception de courte citation under French law) or freedom of expression to circumvent copyright?

The Paris Judicial Court says no; the rights holders must be compensated and the video removed. However, could not the judges have ruled out any infringement on the ground that the very short footage at issue were merely incidental to the political speech?

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28 March 2022

The Guerlain judgment on everyone’s lips…

Guerlain almost had its G lipstick case rejected as a three-dimensional trademark, but the judges of the General Court of the European Union were more flexible in their assessment of its distinctiveness than the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

The shape of the lipstick, comparable to a ship’s hull or baby carriage, was considered sufficiently arbitrary, as the General Court of the European Union considered this shape unusual, easily memorable and uncommon on the market. It also found that the rounded contours of the tube prevented it from being positioned vertically as is customary, a clarification related to the use of the product that may nevertheless be surprising.

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