French guarantee trademarks


The guarantee trademark replaced the collective certification trademark in the Law n°2019-486 of May 22nd, 2019, also called PACTE law.

Examples of guarantee trademarks are shown below. These are guarantee trademarks whose function is precisely to guarantee certain characteristics of the goods/services they designate and which must be described in a Regulation of Use.

The applicant of a guarantee trademark can only be an entity who is not engaged in an activity relating to the supply of goods/services of the same type as those covered by the trademark.

The regulations for use include who may use the mark; the conditions for its use; where required by law or if the trademark contains terms which suggest that the goods/services are certified, the references of the certification body; and how the entity issuing the guarantee checks the characteristics of the goods/services and monitors the use of the trademark.

Although not required by trademark law, to avoid any difficulties, certification should be considered to attest to the seriousness of the approach. In practice, it is therefore certification bodies or persons under public law or professional associations or unions in conjunction with a certifier who will register the guarantee trademarks.

For example, the QUALIOPI trademark and its logo (see the Rules of Use), registered by the French State, represented by the Minister of Labour, Employment and Integration, for "training services; information on training; professional retraining" (class 41), follows a rigorous and standardised award process.

This process is based on obtaining a certification issued by COFRAC-accredited certification bodies or by a labelling body recognised by France Compétences. This certification is carried out on the basis of the national reference system detailed in Article R. 6316-1 of the French Labour Code.  

The independence of the applicant of a guarantee trademark is legally based on his or her own written declaration filed before the French TM Office (INPI) at the time of filing. However, there is nothing to prevent it from being challenged before a court by a person with an interest in acting, in the event that dependence can be demonstrated.