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In the last two years, change has been afoot on the French IP market, with new rules now in place that allow cancellation and invalidity proceedings to take place before the National Industrial Property Institute (INPI) rather than the courts. However, just as this new regime came into effect, the covid-19 pandemic forced the closure of IP offices across the continent. Thankfully, as elsewhere in Europe, the disruption did not last long: video hearings quickly became routine and INPI opened its doors again soon after. Aside from this (and the temporary closure of the courts), the pandemic has had little impact on the work of French trademark practitioners, who remain in hot demand. Non-conventional trademarks such as colour marks, shape marks and 3D marks are increasingly being registered and litigated, with the Lindt golden bunny one notably contested piece of IP lately; and following the implementation of the EU Trademark Directive last year, disputes over sound, animated and multimedia marks look set to increase too.
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