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Trademarks / Designs

Design rights: (the happy) presumption of ownership of the applicant


In a ruling of 31 January 2024, the French Court of Cassation (Supreme Court) reiterated the principles of presumption of ownership in design right matters.

In this case, the Bordeaux Court of Appeal held that the registration of a design by a legal entity, i.e. the assignee, did not entitle it to bring an infringement action insofar as the deed of assignment of this design had not been entered in the designs register.

However, the Court of Cassation points out that pursuant to Article L. 511-9 of the French Intellectual Property Code, the protection of the design is acquired by registration and that the presumption of assignment in favour of the applicant can be rebutted only if there is an action by the natural person or persons who created the work.

The Court of Cassation therefore annulled and set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal of Bordeaux.

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