In France, any legal or natural person can register a trademark. It is the National Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI) which is the sole intermediary to complete this formality. This administrative process is imperative if you wish to protect and exclusively exploit a logo, a distinctive sign, a name or even a slogan.
Why register a trademark?
One of the main reasons why people and businesses choose register a trademark is the desire to protect commercial identity. Indeed, the brand remains a simple way to recognize products and services, but also to promote them. From a commercial or industrial perspective, defending this uniqueness is therefore a guarantee of quality among consumers. As the trademark registration is accompanied by assigned operating rights linked to a specific framework, this also represents a lever for increasing notoriety.
Furthermore, trademark registration is mandatory to deter counterfeiting and guarantee exclusivity. For organizations, the brand is therefore a security in order to develop its image. Thanks to legal provisions that protect trademark registration, your competitors are exposed to sanctions if they use a trademark that belongs to you.
This administrative formality can also be seen as creating assets for the company. Once the brand is launched and established in the market, it can be promoted through a sale. Trademark registration constitutes a strategic investment on many levels to help you secure your image.
What are the steps to register a trademark?
The mechanism for registering a trademark traditionally begins with the determination of the trademark and one or more registration classes. The INPI portal allows you to find all the classes in which to carry out a filing procedure. This preliminary phase is mandatory to verify that the brand you wish to use indeed meets the mandatory criteria.
Subsequently, it is necessary that you carry out a prior art search. It allows you to verify that the chosen brand is not already protected in the desired class. Carrying out this strategic approach in the INPI trademark database is crucial to avoid a competing procedure during third party opposition deadlines.
Once you are assured of the availability of the mark, you can begin the formality by making a filing request with the INPI. During the 6 weeks following registration of the application, the INPI publishes it in the Official Intellectual Property Bulletin (BOPI).
From this publication, a period of 2 months opens during which third parties may object to your request. Any person can file an appeal and attempt to defeat your filing procedure, particularly if they consider that it infringes their rights or a trademark already subject to prior protection. If this appeal is deemed admissible by the INPI, the registration of your trademark is revoked.
Otherwise and at the end of the third party opposition period, your trademark is definitively recorded in the Official Bulletin. The INPI sends you the trademark registration certificate which summarizes all of your prerogatives relating to the process. The trademark registration is valid for a period of 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely.