French Courts link level of care to doctor prescription

In the context of a counterfeiting action involving the marks TRICOR and PRICOR, the Court of First Instance of Paris has first stressed that pharmaceutical products with different therapeutic aims remained identical considering these products have the same nature, same overall purpose, same consumers and same distribution channels. This is perfectly in line with the Community position but French decisions coming by on this point are rare enough to be mentioned.

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Turning to the similarity between TRICOR and PRICOR, the Court interestingly pointed out that the high level of care that health professionals must have when prescribing medicines was improper to exclude confusion in this case… The French Court seems to have applied a high level of care based on the point that the medicines concerned were provided on prescription only. The question is still being discussed, including on the Community level where decisions hesitate between systematically applying a high level or only when a prescription is required, when a serious illness is concerned or when strong pharmaceuticals are concerned.

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