Paris will welcome the summer Olympic Games in 2024. This is
a huge challenge for the Organising Committee.
The licensing policy of the Olympic Committee of the Olympic
signs and symbols is an important aspect of the games and a
bill is under discussion in the French Parliament to extend the
rights of the National Olympic and Paralympic Committees to the
logo, the slogan and the mascot that will be specifically
created for the occasion.
These provisions will complete the Sports Code which
provides, in Article L.141-5, for the protection of the Olympic
signs. As a result, the filing as a trade mark or the
reproduction, imitation, affixation, removal or modification of
such signs constitutes counterfeiting and is punished as
The bill in discussion also provides that terms such as
Olympique (Olympic), Olympisme (Olympism), Jeux Olympiques
(Olympic Games) and Paris 2024 will be protected. However, this
extension has led to criticism and an amendment was proposed to
limit the protection to use made with reference to the Olympic
Games of the modern age, or to sporting competitions or
Up until now, French jurisdictions have differentiated
between using such words in order to inform the public for
instance, on a well-known result or to announce a future game,
and their exploitation for commercial purposes. Reproduction of
a sport result already public and reference to a future
competition already announced do not constitute infringment.
Trade mark infringement occurs when the use is made for
commercial purposes and not for information purposes.
Even if fighting against counterfeits is more important than
ever, one assumes that the balance between trade mark rights
and freedom of expression and information will nevertheless
continue to exist.
Cabinet Beau de Loménie
158, rue de l’Université
F - 75340 Paris Cedex 07 France
Tel: +33 1 44 18 89 00
Fax: +33 1 44 18 04 23