French say "non!" to nutty name

"French court stops child from being named Nutella" is the title of a BBC news item today. This item reads, in relevant part:
A French court has stopped parents from naming their baby girl Nutella after the hazelnut spread, ruling that it would make her the target of derision. The judge ordered that the child be called Ella instead. He said in his ruling that the name Nutella was the trade name of a spread that is commonplace in Gallic homes. "And it is contrary to the child's interest to have a name that can only lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts", he pronounced.

French parents are usually free to choose the names of their children, but local prosecutors are empowered to report what they deem to be unsuitable names to a family court. ...
It would be good to know more about this law and its parameters, says the IPKat. For example, does the proprietor of a registered trade mark have the right to institute proceedings, or to be joined to proceedings which have already been commenced, in order to seek protection? Also, given the great value placed on celebrity status these days, would a brand owner be able to intervene on behalf of the parents in order to support their parental name-choice? Merpel finds it strange that parents can be prevented from naming their children after brands while there is no reciprocal protection offered to chidren whose names may subsequently be appropriated for brand use.

Italian-owned Nutella is a hugely popular brand outside France too and the ingredient that gives it its distinctive taste is a specific hazel nut, Nocciola Piemonte, which is a protected geographical indication in the European Union. The product is made by Ferrero [Merpel thinks this means "Smith"], which also includes Nutella as the filling of its Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Good news for parents is that "Hazel" is a long-accepted forename, currently in use for girls and even boys.

18 signs that your friend needs a Nutella intervention here
Why cats and Nutella don't mix here
Nutella as you've never heard it before here
Beer, pepper ... see what else Nutella is registered as a Community trade mark for here
French say "non!" to nutty name French say "non!" to nutty name Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 Rating: 5


  1. Dude, I don't think this case has *anything* to do with trademarks.

  2. Oh, Anonymous at 16:34, I think it is about trade marks, for any reader who has any imagination.

    May I respectfully suggest to you that you return to the box outside which you appear incapable of thinking.

  3. Rather amusing. Not as famous as the case "Mégane Renaud" (see unfortunately in FR)

  4. "the ingredient that gives it its distinctive taste..." is, I think you'll find, Palm Oil, and associated guilt about ongoing global deforestation....

    (I do have a sense of humour, I promise ;) )

  5. Thanks for posting this - I've been vaguely aware of there being French law on giving names for some time and my biggest faux pas (as an aside) was thinking my colleague Pascale was male - it took some time for her to appreciate my mistake and for email saying "I am a GIRL" to arrive - c'est la vie /
    we all make mistakes !

  6. What about creating a new brand out of their kid?


All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here:

Powered by Blogger.