A welcome partnership between a ccTLD registry and a national industrial property office
Afnic (the registry in charge of French ccTLDs, afnic.fr) and the French National Institute of Industrial Property (inpi.fr) have announced a partnership with the view of raising awareness of trademark and domain name owners as to the need to proceed, systematically and concomitantly, with trademarks and domain name registrations. This awareness campaign will, at least initially, take the form of training events co-organized by both institutions.
This essential link between Afnic and INPI, IP Twins has been calling for it since its creation in 2001. For IP Twins, trademarks and domain names are indissociable, so much so that their acquisition should be automated as much as possible: at the filing of a trademark containing a verbal element could be associated the proposal to register one or more corresponding domain names, under one or more ccTLDs. Similarly, the registration of a trademark could be associated, not to the proposal to file a trademark (which seems illusory given the conditions of validity of a trademark), but at least a reminder of the multiple interests owning a trademark right.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is considering the adoption of an additional period of time between the filing of a trademark and its publication online in order to allow time for the applicant to register the domain name(s) corresponding to the trademark, and thus reduce the risk of cybersquatting. This is a concrete step that should inspire ccTLDs registries and industrial property offices.