Shopping with my daughter this past weekend on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, on the way to the Arc de triomphe, we spotted this shop selling  “I ♥ Paris” merchandise:

What do you make of this one, Tim, does it look familiar?

I’m thinking Mike Masnick of Techdirt, given his trademark bullying perspective on the subject, would be happy to see the Milton Glaser designed logo considered an informational genre, and part of the public domain.

A pair of French lawyers have noted that “the ability of the ‘I ♥’ sign to fulfill the essential function of guaranteeing a trademark’s origin is a question that remains to be answered.”

Could the same question be raised here in the United States, New York?

  • Martha Engel

    At least he didn’t use I <3 (see my post on the trademark of the greek letter pi).

  • Tim Sitzmann

    It looks familiar, but I don’t speak French, so I’m not quite sure on the translation…
    I didn’t know that New York had a French counterpart that was just as aggressive in enforcing its registered rights to an I♥ ____ mark. It’s amazing that the tourists in Paris aren’t wandering around asking the locals about the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Buidling.
    The original image was an iconic design – simple, elegant, effective. I’m still not sold though that it is anything other than an ornamental design that is likely incapable of functioning as a trademark.

  • Marie-Gwen Chuit

    In reply to Tim’s concern about the translation, French people would simply not translate the sign, and call it ” I LOVE PARIS” (with a heavy French accent of course). I totally agree with the French lawyer’s view on the subject : the question remains to be answered.