The Court of Appeal of Paris held that the sole use of the word marks BMW and MINI by a formerly authorized car dealer is sufficient for its clients to be well informed as to the vehicles they may interested in purchasing in the context of its reseller activity.
However, the Court pointed out that use of the word and device marks BMW and MINI by that formerly authorized car dealer could not be regarded as a necessary reference escaping from the trademark monopoly.
The judge held such use to be trademark infringement especially considering that use of the word mark BMW and MINI above already provided enough information to the customers without needing to add more.
This is quite an interesting decision splitting the trademark monopoly on various levels. This position is of course of interest for the automobile industry but it can apply to any distribution situation when it comes to the enforcement of trademark rights.