Monday 17 January 2011

French damages: a frank response

Last Tuesday, in "Damages in France: is there a sign of an upward trend?" (here), I ventured to suggest that a recent French damages award in a trade mark dispute indicated that the French courts were becoming more generous in their awards.

Not so, says my good friend Richard Milchior (Granrut), who assures me that French infringement damages have already been generous for some time, even before the coming into force of the EU's IP Enforcement Directive. Richard has even helpfully pointed me towards this useful table compiled by the PIBD, with some details of actual awards -- so you can believe him!  As Richard says:
"As I told you, more or less the international community thinks that the French court are not awarding damages ( obviously there is an assimilation between damages and big amounts);
The truth is:
(1) this is wrong
(2) if bigger damages are not awarded it is often due to the fact the plaintiff refuses to provide information which is (rightly or wrongly considered as business secrets) to the court, they do not understand that it is needed , they are to lazy to do the necessary work or their lawyer and /or trade mark agent does not do what it needs to do. ...

Be aware that often in France the amount awarded for unfair competition or parasitism could cover damages to well known marks since we had the habit of using tort law for this even before the CTM Regulation and the trade mark directive".
Thanks, Richard, for taking the effort to let us know.

1 comment:

Lyonnais said...

To add more substance to this topic, and without any personal interest, there is a very good and very recent study made by Pierre Veron on patent litigation in France over the period 2000-2009. This study has reviewed all patent litigation cases over this period, and also reviews patent damages. It is freely available on the firm's website at