Intellectual property litigation occurs at two levels: administrative litigation and judicial litigation.
The opposition procedure
The Dreyfus team assists its clients in this administrative procedure, which allows them to request the total or partial rejection of a trademark application infringing prior IP rights. This procedure is very efficient and cost-effective, as it does not require going to court.
The French opposition procedure is becoming an attractive strategy in the defence of French trademark rights, European Union trademarks (Community trademarks) or international trademarks designating France and also company names and domain names. This procedure has significant advantages over litigation before the judicial authorities.
The experts at Dreyfus allow you, as a holder of prior rights, to block an application for the registration of a trademark likely to infringe your rights, even before the trademark is registered or put on the market. If the opposition proceedings before the INPI are considered justified, the trademark application will be denied registration.
While the opposition procedure before the INPI is an effective tool, we strongly encourage amicable resolutions with the applicant.
Invalidity and revocation proceedings
Dreyfus advises you on applications for invalidity or revocation of a trademark.
Invalidity can be the consequence of the existence of absolute grounds, related to the validity of the sign chosen as a trademark. It may also result from relative grounds for refusal, which arise in inter partes proceedings and are based on a potential conflict with the prior rights of a third party. A trademark may finally be declared invalid if it was filed in bad faith by the applicant or if it infringes earlier rights having effect in France.
Revocation may be requested in the event of default of use (revocation for lack of exploitation) or use that renders the sign generic or misleading (revocation for degeneration). Thus, a trademark owner who has not made a serious use of the trademark for the goods or services for which it is registered for an uninterrupted period of 5 years without reasonable cause is liable to revocation of his rights.
The Dreyfus team will assist you in your invalidity or revocation proceedings against another trademark. The firm assists you in exercising your rights more easily, quickly and at a lower cost, by simplifying actions previously opened only in the event of a legal dispute.
The procedure, which is carried out at the INPI by our team of specialist lawyers, will make unutilised trademarks available for our clients. It will also make it possible to cancel trademarks in the event of invalidity or infringement of public policy.
In parallel to administrative actions, legal actions can be considered.
Notably, since 2008, infringement actions, whether they are related to copyrights, designs or trademarks, are exclusively brought before specific courts of first instance determined by Decree, including when they also concern a related issue of unfair competition. The firm also provides expertise in this judicial field.