How LVMH took over the Vendôme brand

Beginning 2021, the LVMH group bought the brand Vendôme from the eponymous small town Vendôme. Cost of the transaction: 10,000 euros. An amount considered ridiculously low by some, but a big coup for Bernard Arnault’s group.

Béatrice Peyrani

By Béatrice Peyrani15 juin 2021

Overview of the center of Vendôme. On the left, the Tour Saint-Martin and on the right, the Abbey of the Trinity. (Sybarite)

The whole world dreams of Vendôme and its Paris location. For more than 200 years, the most beautiful diamond ornaments, rubies or emeralds have found their ideal case, resounding like the ultimate French luxury symbol. However, it is also the name of a French municipality from Loir-et-Cher with 16,879 inhabitants. It was therefore a great coup for LVMH, who acquired of the Vendôme brand to name potentialy its jewelry products. Back to this transaction with Delphine Brunet-Stoclet, lawyer in Paris and specialized in intellectual property law, who often deals with these kinds of cases.

Could companies acquire the names of all French towns? If so, at what price?

Delphine Brunet-Stoclet, lawyer in Paris and specialized in intellectual property law (DR)

As showcased by the example of the town Vendôme, a great number of territorial authorities protect their name, as trademarks, with the Institut national de la propriété intellectuelle (INPI) (National Institute of Intellectual Property). This protection enables them to stand against their name being trademarked and exploited by a third party, based on counterfeiting. However, local authorities also have the freedom to partially indulge their name rights, which would become a trademark, for a category of services or products. It’s obviously a great opportunity for companies who are constantly looking for new and significant names that are not being used by competitors, in order to launch their own products or services.

How did the transaction with the town Vendôme happen?

The sale of territorial community brands is a privately traded market. Each party negotiates with the other freely, with the partial transfer of the brand for one or several product or service categories at an amount considered as reasonable.

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