Trademark registration France
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How to register a trademark in France
What are the costs of a trademark registration in France?
The costs of trademark registration in France depend on the number of Nice classes that are relevant to the trademark. Most marks need 1 to 3 classes, but it is possible to get protection in all of classes 1 through 45 of the Nice classification.
- Includes all fees
- extra class
- Includes all fees
- up to 3 classes
- Includes all fees
- extra class
How do you get a trademark registration in France?
As in most other countries, there is a so-called First to File jurisdiction, which means that the rights to a trademark are granted to the person who registers it first. It is not necessary to actually use the trademark before you deposit it. However, you do make it extra strong in the field of distinction.
Registering a brand name in France at a local level through the INPI
If you want to register a trademark in France, you can do so in various ways. The first way is to submit a local application to the INPI: Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle. In addition to protection on the French mainland, you also enjoy it in Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Barthélemy, French Saint-Martin, French Guiana, Réunion, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, Mayotte, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and the French Southern and Antarctic areas. It is also possible to extend the trademark protection to French Polynesia.
How does the trademark application procedure work in France?
If you submit an application to the EUIPO, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, you are applying for an EU trademark. After approval, this mark is valid in all 27 countries of the European Union. France is also a member of the Madrid Protocol. This means that expansion of the international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is also possible in this country.
Combined trademarks: word elements and figurative elements
If you want to record a brand in France that consists of both a word element and a figurative element, we speak of a combined brand. Are you able to register your trademark in France? The protection you obtain with this applies to the specific composition of these elements and not to every aspect in itself. This means that if you want to be able to use one of the two separately, it is best to submit a separate application for this.
Do you choose to request only the exclusive rights for the combined brand? Then there is a chance that in the future you will have to deal with entrepreneurs who want to use one of the two elements for their business. There is nothing you can do about this unless his goods or services are so similar to yours that you can object on the basis of confusing resemblance.
Register your trade name via the INPI: this is how it works
After you have submitted the application to register your trademark in France with the INPI, it will test and publish it at the same time. Please note that the INPI does not consider it part of its task to verify the existence of identical or confusingly similar marks. During the two-month publication period, any third parties have the time to lodge an objection. This can be based on absolute grounds (if your brand is too descriptive, for example), but also on the basis of their own acquired trademark rights.
What do you need to know before filing a French trademark?
It is up to you as an entrepreneur to determine exactly for which products or services you want to use your brand. The protection that you receive after your application will only apply to the products and services that you have specified yourself. So it’s worth taking the time to map out your needs. After submitting your application for trademark registration, you can no longer add products or services. If this is very important, you will have to apply for your trademark all over again in France.
Recently, since January 1, 2021, a new version of the Nice classification has come into effect. New entries have been made in this classification. Trademark application concepts may be affected by this. Also very important to do before you start recording a brand name in France, is to perform a thorough trade mark search in which you actually check the availability of the brand in various databases.
Publication in trademark gazette BOPI
Do you decide to file a trademark in France? After submitting the required information and documents, you will receive a receipt and payment receipt from the INPI, including a unique file number. Publication of your application takes place in trademark gazette BOPI. This happens within six weeks. BOPI publishes the information you provided to the INPI on the day of submission. Do you see errors in it? Then link this back to the INPI as soon as possible.
Official publication of your mark
After approval of your application for trademark registration, it will take at least five months before the official publication – again in the BOPI – is a fact. After this publication, the INPI will send you a certificate showing that your trademark has been officially registered. Now nothing should stop you from using it within French borders. It is important to read the registration certificate carefully, in order to be able to check it for any errors.
How long is your registered trademark valid in France?
If you have been able to register your trademark in France, then the protection you receive with this is valid for ten years from the date on which you submitted the application. You can renew your trademark protection at the end of this period. This can be done infinitely often and you do it for another period of ten years. The application for extension can be submitted from six months before the end date and up to a maximum of six months after its expiry.
After the end date has passed, you are in the so-called grace period. This means that an extension application can still be processed, but that you will pay more for it.
How should you use your trademark to maintain your rights?
Although it is not necessary to already have a trademark in use when you want to register it in France, it must be used within a period of five years from that registration date. This use must be on a commercial scale. If this is not the case, there is a risk that your trademark will be removed from the registers due to inactivity. In France it is not necessary to provide proof of use.