Apple has seemingly confirmed its intention to open new retail outlets in France.

A report from French Mac website, MacGeneration, claims Apple's European vice president Pascal Cagni has sent a letter to European Apple resellers to explain a series of contractual changes that will come into force this summer.

The biggest change affects those Apple resellers who currently use the phrase 'Apple Centre' - these will now be called 'Premium Resellers' instead, the French language report explains.

Use of the trademarked terms 'Apple' and 'Mac' will also be more limited than before.

Resellers will also be made to train their staff at their own expense under Apple's own training schemes, and will be encouraged to develop store designs that are different from those used in Apple's own shop chain.

The report also claims Apple will open its first retail outlet in Paris (Opera), another in Lyons and another in Lille. A Paris, Champs-Elysés store will open in 2007, it claims.

However, an International Herald Tribune report suggests that Apple's French retail plans, particularly those for a Champs-Elysés store, may be delayed or cancelled. They would be a casualty in the company's fight against the French government's demand that Apple ensure its music products and services are interoperable with those from other manufacturers and service providers.

Attempts to create a new copyright law in France have led to an unprecedented range of lobbying activities in France, a second report claims.

"The debate stirred up such a mobilization of advocates that a plea went out from the Senate floor to clear the hallways of loitering lobbyists," that report states.

A delegation from Apple headquarters in California has visited France to protest against the measures. The delegation was led by Bud Tribble, Apple's vice president for software technology.