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Protecting your brand: a strategic issue

Depending on the activity carried out by your company, it may be advisable to register a trademark. The latter allows you to identify the products and services of your company and to distinguish them from those of your competitors.

If you wish to protect your sign as a trademark, you must imperatively respect particular steps. We make the point on the essential.

Why register a trademark?

Many entrepreneurs ask themselves why to register a trademark and this question requires a particular deepening. If you do not protect your trademark, you leave the chance to your competitors to register it and to benefit as such from a part of your efforts. You become the exclusive owner of your trademark only after having filed with the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI).

Once you have registered a French trademark with the INPI, you have a monopoly on its use in France. As such, you can sell, market and communicate products and services bearing the mention of your trademark. For example: once your trademark registration is completed, you will be the only one who can affix this trademark to clothing, signs, telephones, etc.

The registration of your trademark also allows you to create your own identity around your company. The objective of a trademark is to gather a maximum number of customers for the products or services you sell. This allows you to distinguish yourself from other companies in the same sector.

What are the steps to register a trademark in France?

When you wish to register a trademark for your activity, you must necessarily respect certain essential steps. First, the registration of a trademark in France is done with the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), in a dematerialized way. To do so, you will need to fill out an online form.

Good to know: you also have the possibility of being accompanied by professionals to register your trademark. Following this process on the INPI platform, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt from them. This will include the date of your application as well as the national number of your application.

In practice: this information is very important, it will allow you to be easily identified during your exchanges with the INPI. Make sure you keep them. Once the INPI has received your form, it will publish your trademark application in the Bulletin officiel de la propriété industrielle (BOPI), within 6 weeks.

Good to know: this publication opens a period of 2 months, during which third parties can oppose the registration of your trademark.

Thereafter, the INPI will examine the conditions of validity of your trademark. Please note that the INPI will not check if the trademark is available. This task is the responsibility of the trademark applicant. For this, it is necessary to carry out a prior art search.

Once the INPI has carried out these verifications, it will proceed with the registration of the trademark within 5 months from the publication in the BOPI.

What are the consequences of such a filing?

The filing of a trademark with the INPI has several consequences, in terms of costs and duration of protection.

The cost of protection :

When one wishes to protect a sign by a trademark registration, its cost amounts to 190€.

Please note: at this price, only one class of trademark is included. To extend the protection of your trademark, you will have to count 40€ per additional class of trademark.

It should also be noted that there is a fee for renewing your trademark protection. These are fixed at 290€ for one class of trademark. To which can be added 40€ for each additional class of trademark.

Duration of protection:

The trademark is protected for a period of 10 years and is indefinitely renewable. In this case, you must renew your trademark with the INPI.

Warning: if your trademark has not been used for 5 years, you may lose your trademark if one of your competitors files a trademark revocation action.

You can also be accompanied in the surveillance of your trademark by professionals.

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