OSI enforcement? (Was Re: Microsoft use of the term "Open Source")

Romain Berrendonner romain at berrendonner.org
Wed Jan 9 11:17:51 UTC 2008

Rick Moen wrote:
> My French is good enough to enjoy old Simenon detective novels, but I
> don't trust it for reading legal/regulatory Web sites.  However, at
> first glance, it looks to me as if not one of those 23 is a
> certification mark; they all appear to concern goods and services.

This is 100% correct. But the requirements established for certification 
marks include those for trademarks dealing with goods and services, so 
the question is of interest anyway.

> Anyway, I'm not particularly familiar with French trademark law, 
> so I can't say of a certainty that your notion of "distinctiveness" is 
> out of step with the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle's
> criteria, but I rather suspect it is.

The requirement of "distinctiveness" is established by art. L711-2 of 
the intellectual property code, so the INPI better be in line with it !

I had in particular a doubt about this (translation kindly provided by 

"The distinctive nature of a sign that is capable of constituting a mark 
shall be assessed in relation to the designated goods or services.
        The following shall not be of a distinctive nature:
        b) Signs or names which may serve to designate a feature of the 
product or service, particularly the type, *quality*, quantity, purpose, 
value, geographical origin, time of production of the goods or 
furnishing of the service;

But looking at case law, it would seem that judges are relatively 
lenient with this requirement.


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