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 Protection of the trademark "Mèridien" in France

The company Société des Hôtels Mèridien is the owner of the trademark "Mèridien" and was already involved in an Adword related lawsuit against Google (see AdWord lawsuits in France). The company also brought a lawsuit against Mr. H, who had registrated the domain name "", and the company SEDO, through which Mr. H put up the domain for sale at the price of 10.000 Euros. Not very surprisingly, the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris held in its judgement issued on September 23, 2005, that the registration of the domain name constitutes an unjustified use of the notorious "Mèridien" trademark. But SEDO was also held liable for the trademark infringement. The court considered that SEDO offers an expertise to help determining the price of a domain name. The analysis requested by Mr. H. stated: "...hotel-meridien is not a real term but the name of a hotel chain known by all, so the domain name will be easy to remember by anyone ... the purchase of the domain name "" appears very likely and risky at the same time ... the expression "very likely" simply means that the domain name is for sale on SEDO (even though at an unreasonable price in my opinion) and "risky" translates into the fact that acquiring this domain name can be viewed as an act of cyber-squatting of the notorious hotel chain".





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