Registering your trademark allows you to protect it. For a French trademark, it must be registered with the INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property), but the protection can be extended to the European Union (EUIPO) and internationally (WIPO). When a trademark is registered on the national territory, in order to extend its protection, it is possible to register the trademark within the European Union and internationally. There is a right of priority which allows to file other trademark applications while benefiting from the filing date of the first application. The priority period is six months for trademarks.
Before considering filing a trademark with an office, it is necessary to make sure that the trademark is not already registered by another person. It is then sufficient to consult the databases of the offices in which are grouped all the trademarks already registered or in the process of being registered. The notion of distinctiveness is important in industrial property.
Indeed, a trademark is any sign, symbol, logo or any external appearance that will allow the average consumer not to confuse the trademarks between them. Signs allow companies to distinguish themselves from each other. A brand can take many forms: word, name, slogan, logo or a combination of several of these elements. This notion of distinctiveness is essential for the registration of the trademark, it allows to avoid an opposition procedure to the registration of the trademark on the basis of infringement.
Protecting your trademark allows you to use it without someone else infringing on it or without the use of your trademark infringing on another. Indeed, when your trademark is registered by the office, it does not infringe on the goods and services of an earlier trademark. If a new trademark infringes on your trademark, it is possible to file an opposition to the registration of this trademark.
Registration of trademark (INPI)
To register a trademark in France, the procedure is carried out in a dematerialized way on the INPI website. The duration of the registration is 10 years, the same period for each renewal to be made at the office. It is however possible to renew an expired trademark registration within 6 months following the last day of the month of expiration, however a 50% fee surcharge will be required.
How much will it cost to register a trademark with INPI
The INPI website specifies that the cost of registering a trademark with the INPI is 190 euros for one class and 40 euros for each additional class. For the renewal the price is 290 euros for one class and 40 euros per additional class.
The price for filing a trademark with the EUIPO is 850 euros for an electronic filing, plus 50 euros for a second class and 150 euros for any additional classes. For a renewal of a European trademark, it will be necessary to count 850 euros then 50 euros for a second class and 150 euros for all additional classes.
The price for an international trademark application varies depending on the countries that are covered by the application.
Today in France the registration of a trademark is not mandatory, however, not registering a trademark is taking risks. In France, the rights on a trademark are acquired by its registration and not by its use. Thus, the registration of a trademark provides legal protection.
However, it is important to perform prior searches to ensure that the trademark registration is possible. This work can be performed by patent attorneys, which adds a cost but ensures the validity of the trademark registration project.