You can register your trademark online with the INPI in just a few clicks.

Trademark registration is a procedure that allows any person, natural or legal, to acquire and protect the rights to use a trademark. This filing must be made with a national or international management body. In France, the trademark registration is filed with the INPI (Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle). When filing, it is necessary to choose, within the Nice Classification, the classes corresponding to your goods and/or services.

The INPI is the French industrial property protection body. But there are similar organizations all over the world and even on a global scale with WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization. For Europe? There is a "European brand" to protect you throughout the European Union. The EU Intellectual Property Office is there to manage all this.

Registering your trademark in France does not cover you for the whole world.

If your company is present everywhere internationally, it is better to study in more detail the Madrid system, whose objective is to protect your brand everywhere, in a single approach, a single file, in a single language, with a global fee, rather than a fee in each country.

Why is it important to register your trademark?

It is important to register your trademark because it will give you an exclusive right to it. In other words, trademark registration makes it possible to acquire ownership rights over all the elements covered by your trademark, and therefore to prohibit anyone from disposing of them without your prior consent. This gives you real flexibility to protect yourself or give you significant financial power.

It is therefore the best way not only to protect, but also to enhance the originality, authenticity and reputation of the services and/or products you offer under your own brand.    

Note that there are 45 classes of goods and services and that, when you file a trademark with the INPI, you must choose at least one of them. These filing classes allow you to protect your business name for one or more activities. The choice of these classes is therefore of great importance for the protection of a trademark. Choosing a class that is not appropriate for your activity would reduce the protection it provides. So think about anticipating your possible future needs.

What are the requirements for filing a trademark?

It is very important to check the availability of your trademark before starting the registration procedure because the INPI does not carry out a prior art check. In other words, the INPI does not check if your brand is available.

It is up to you to do this verification, especially with the INPI nearest you. With the help of the documentalists on site, you will have access to the archives and be able to do your research.

The other possibility is to search the INPI's online databases. That said, it should be noted that this is a complex exercise because you will not only have to search if a name identical to your trademark has been previously registered. It will also be necessary to analyze the spelling, phonetic and intellectual similarities that may exist between your trademark and those previously registered.

To do your research online, you can use this site: https://bases-marques.inpi.fr

The search is carried out on current trademarks: French, European Union and international trademarks (designating France or not).
It's assisted research. The results obtained will be "expanded" with respect to the wording of the request. If you do not get results for your query, it is recommended that you conduct a thorough search for similarities (spelling, phonetics and intellectuals) with INPI.

The data are provided for information purposes only. It is therefore advisable to use a lawyer who is an expert in industrial property in order to avoid being the subject of opposition proceedings at a later stage, among other things.

What happens if the INPI refuses to register my trademark?

As seen above, the INPI does not check the availability of trademarks and, therefore, it cannot refuse the registration of your trademark on the basis of the availability criterion. However, it may refuse it if you have not completed your application form in due form or if it considers that your trademark does not meet the requirements of distinctiveness and public policy.

In any case, you can challenge the decision to reject the registration before one of the Courts of Appeal competent in intellectual property matters.

Nevertheless, be careful about the time limits and means of dispute invoked. You will only have one month after filing your statement of appeal to set out all the substantive grounds for challenging the INPI's decision.

Once the trademark has been registered, how long is it protected?

Once your trademark is registered with the INPI, it is protected for a period of 10 years. During this period, your competitors will be prohibited from using it. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the 10-year term of protection is not restrictive. In other words, you can initiate a renewal of protection procedure during the 6 months preceding the end of the protection period. You can renew this coverage as many times as you wish.

Trademark filing, patent filing: what's the difference?

The first difference concerns the nature of the protected object. Indeed, a patent protects an invention - i.e. a concrete product - while a trademark protects the exploitation of a sign in one or more sectors of activity (which may encompass a multitude of different products and services).

Moreover, it should be noted that trademark registration offers a term of protection of 10 years, renewable indefinitely, while patent registration offers a term of protection of 20 years, non-renewable. Following this, the patented invention then becomes usable by everyone.

I wish to register my trademark, what should I do in practice?

We offer you several formulas. The first takes place during a meeting with a law firm specializing in intellectual property, which will review all the issues with you and with whom we work hand in hand to draw up the application file for your trademark.

If you wish to register only the name of your trademark alone, and not your logo (It is not necessary to register all the elements at once. For example: if you don't have a logo yet, you can register only your brand name in the first instance, the logo will be registered again later.) You can also go directly through an online platform, for example: Captain Contract.

How much does a trademark application cost?

Cost of filing a trademark: - 210
to 250 euros up to 3 classes, - 42 euros
per class of additional goods or services - It
is proposed to extend the protection of your trademark to French Polynesia: specific fee of 60 euros.

The depot:

You wish to register only the name of your trademark, not your logo (It is not necessary to register all the elements at once. For example: if you don't have a logo yet, you can register only your brand name in the first instance, the logo will be registered again later.) You can also go directly through an online platform, for example: Captain Contract.

  • Name only
  • Name with logo
  • Logo only (acronym without name)

Then, the next step after the choice of the element to deposit is the deposit of the classes. An INPI activity class is simply the list of professional activities for which you protect your trademark.

Each trademark registered at the INPI can be registered in one or more classes (example: Class 35 - advertising; business management, etc.). You must therefore indicate in which classes of goods your trademark will be placed. The INPI proposes the "Nice Classification", i.e. a list of 45 classes of goods/services, i.e. 35 concerning goods and 11 concerning services. Here is the list of INPI classes of goods/services.

Within the classes, tick the activities for which you wish your trademark to be protected. The more precise you are, the more effective your brand protection will be. As soon as you tick an activity in a class, the class is posted to your deposit. The INPI allows you to register between 1 and 3 classes in the first package. If you wish to file more than 3 classes, a supplement will be applied per additional class (42€). Please be careful when making your deposit. Certain corrections will be authorised subject to the payment of a fee of €104.

Registering your trademark with the INPI: the different solutions :

  • We offer you several formulas. The first takes place during a meeting with a law firm specialising in intellectual property, which will review all the issues with you and with whom we work hand in hand at Studio HLG to draw up the application file for your trademark.
  • For a particularly urgent request, if you cannot wait to make an appointment, you can do so by being accompanied by an online lawyer: Captain Contract offers a SERENITY package at €279 + administrative costs (i.e. a total budget from €580 and more depending on the options chosen)
  • Finally, please note that you can also take the steps yourself, directly on the INPI website, go to https://www.inpi.fr.

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Hélène Le Goff

Designer, Decorator & Artist, she imagines and creates these worlds.