Benjamin Fontaine is currently the chair of the Geographical Indications Committee of ECTA (European Communities Trade Mark Association). He is a registered Intellectual Property attorney since 2003 (CNCPI, France) and a solicitor admitted to the Alicante Bar (Spain) since 2005.

He holds law degrees from the University of Orléans (France) and from the University of Alicante, as well as a master in Intellectual Property.

Benjamin Fontaine is an associate at Cabinet Ernest Gutmann Yves Plasseraud, E.G.Y.P., since 1999, where he is in charge of the Alicante branch Office. Mr. Fontaine has extensive experience in trade mark prosecution and litigation, both in France and in Spain, as well as before the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). He advises French and foreign clients in various industries – such as cosmetics, foodstuff and wine – on IP prosecution, brand protection and enforcement matters. His field of practice also extends to industrial design, unfair competition, copyright law and domain name litigation.

Over the last years Benjamin Fontaine has developed an expertise in the field of Geographical Indications, and in particular concerning their interaction with trade marks. He is the author of various articles on this topic, as well as a book entitled “Geographical Indications and the Community Trade Mark System”.

Recent speeches given by Benjamin Fontaine include conferences on “Generics and Homonyms in the field of GIs” (ERA Conference on Geographical Indications in the EU, March 2012), “OHIM new competencies and practices in the field of GIs” (ECTA Annual Conference, Palermo, June 2012), and “GIs as Absolute and Relative Grounds for Refusal” (OHIM IP seminar, September 2012).