The “Vendôme” trade mark is partially sold to LVMH24/02/2021
In order to remedy to the unauthorized commercial use of municipalities’ names, which is often difficult to oppose despite the mechanism provided for article L. 711-4 h) of the French Intellectual Property Code, local authorities, and municipalities in particular, are increasingly frequently registering their names as trademarks.
Such is the case for the municipality of Vendôme in the Loir-et-Cher region, which has just made public the partial transfer of its trade mark to LVMH.
The French trade mark “Vendôme” No. 4515840, registered on 14 January 2019 by the municipality of Vendôme, has just been transferred to LVMH, for products covered by class 14, particularly jewelry and gemstones.
This operation is part of LVMH’s strategy to develop its jewelry business and create a line around the Place Vendôme, associated in the collective imagination with the great names of French jewelry.
Ultimately, the acquisition of the right to use the word mark “Vendôme” for class 14 products will allow LVMH to oppose the use of this sign by competitors for identical products.
In any event, the LVMH transaction raises the question of the valuation of intangible assets owned by local authorities, which are often underestimated. A positive trend toward the development of so-called “Heritage” trade marks draws attention to the diversity of initiatives to structure the use of trade marks and signs of public entities.
UGGC Law Firm and its teams specialized in public law and trademark law are at your disposal for any questions you may have on this subject.
By the IP/IT team of UGGC Law Firm
Source : Le Figaro
 Article L. 711-4 of the French Intellectual Property Code: « Cannot be registered as a trade mark, any sign which violates prior rights, such as: The name, image or reputation of a local authority ».
See INPI, 24 juillet 2020, OPP 19-5536/BDO