Remedies are available regardless of whether the infringement is willful. No punitive damages will be awarded, even if the infringement is wilflul.
French law prohibits both direct infringement and contributory infringement.
Trademark infringement actions may be brought before specialized courts (Paris courts having exclusive jurisdiction for EUTM's), usually after having gathered evidence via an infringement seizure (saisie-contrefaçon), by way of an action on the merits and a summary action, in order to obtain an interlocutory injunction.
An injunction against the further manufacture, import, offer, sale, use or storage of the work can be ordered with immediate enforceability and subject to penalties.
In determining the amount of damages to be awarded (compensatory – not punitive), French courts take into account distinctively:
- The negative or detrimental economic consequences of infringement, including lost gains and losses suffered by the rights holder
- The moral harm suffered by the rights holder
- The profits earned by the infringer, including intellectual, tangible and promotional investments saved or not incurred by the infringer
As an alternative and on request by the trademark owner, the court can set the damages as a lump sum. The lump sum must be greater than the royalties that would have been owed if the infringer had sought a licence. This amount is not exclusive of compensation for moral harm caused to the trademark owner.
Remedies also include, notably, the recall, destruction or confiscation of the infringing products and the publication of the judgment.
Legal costs and attorneys' fees can be recovered (at the discretion of the judge).
Before the criminal courts, an infringer faces a fine of up to €300,000 (or €750,000 in certain circumstances) and imprisonment for up to 3 years (7 years in certain circumstances).
Trademarks can be filed with French Customs to prevent importation of infringing goods, provided those goods originate from outside the European free market.