Just published is a decision of the Court of Appeal of Paris dated March 19, 2010, which considered that the mark VISIOTONIC shown below was distinctive for products of classes 5 and 10 and in particular for ‘pharmaceutical, veterinary and hygienic products; dietetic substances for medical use; chirurgical apparatus and instruments; artificial members, eyes and teeth’.
For the Court, VISIOTONIC is a neologism which may be evocative of products supposed to increase the vision considering that ‘visio” refers to the vision and that ‘tonic’ refers to the tonicity. This neologism is not however necessary, generic or usual for any of the products covered under the mark.
That is all the Court said to justify its decision on the distinctiveness of the mark. Nothing further. That truly is a decision for our readers who still have doubts as to the softer approach of French practice when assessing trademark distinctiveness (especially when compared to the Community practice)