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The refusal to register the mark “Normindia” attesting to a geographical origin


Legal watch

Publication date

3 January 2023

Paris Court of Appeal, December 17th 2021 RGn°21/01247

The Director of the INPI (the French National Intellectual Property Office) rejected the registration of the word sign “Normindia” to designate alcoholic beverages.

The Court of Appeal confirmed the decision of the Director of the INPI. It ruled that the “Normindia” trademark was deceptive and infringed the previous PGIs “Cidre de Normandie”, “Cidre Normand”, “Eau-de-vie de Normandie”, “Eau-de-vie de poiré de Normandie” and “Pommeau de Normandie”.  

The Court applied Article L.711-3 of the Intellectual Property Code, as it read prior to the 2019 reform, which prohibited the registration of marks that are likely to deceive the public about the geographical origin of the product.

The Court of Appeal held that the products were similar, and that the sign “presents a strong visual, phonetic and intellectual similarity with Normandy [the French region] and constitutes an imitation, or at least an evocation, of this French region, to which the PGIs at issue refer“.

In addition, it is also held that the sign “Normindia” is likely to mislead the public on the geographical origin, insofar as it can be applied to products from another region than Normandy. It should be noted that since the 2019 reform, infringements of PGIs and PDOs are now absolute grounds for refusing to register a trademark.


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