Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?
The average time frame for the registration approval is 4 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.
If I register my trademark in France, do I have protection in other territories?
The territorial limits of a registered mark in France are: Metropolitan France, Martinique, Corsica, Guadeloupe, Saint-Barthelemy, French part of Saint-Martin, Reunion, French Guyana, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, French Antarctic Territories, Wallis and Futuna, and Mayotte and Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. The protection of mark does not extend to French Polynesia.
Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?
No power of attorney is required.
Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?
There is no benefit from pre-filing use of the trademark. However, famous trademarks are protected in this jurisdiction even if these are not registered. To prove that your mark is famous will be extremely difficult.
Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?
Registered marks that are not being used by owners are vulnerable to cancellation when interested parties take their appeal in courts.
What are the types of trademark that can be registered in France?
Any sign that can be graphically reproduced and can set apart the good/service from its counterparts can be registered:
- 3-dimensional shapes
- Trade dress
What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in France?
The order of the trademark application procedure in France is as follows:
Examination – In this phase, the application will be examined if the applicant complied with all of the requirements. Compliance with regards to formality, descriptiveness, classification, distinctiveness and deceptiveness will be checked.
Publication – The particulars of the application will be made available to the public especially to third-parties that are interested to oppose. Publication of details will be on print and online.
Registration – After the prosecution and oppositions have been settled, registration will finally be issued.
What type of trademark is not registrable?
The following signs are prohibited from being registered:
- Marks that go against public order and principles of moral
- Common terms that have broad meaning
- Marks that do not display distinct characteristics
- Marks that function primarily as names of a geographic location
- Marks that use protected flags/names/symbols of international organization, states and nations
Does France use the "Nice Classification" system?
Yes. Nice Classification system is being used in France.
Does the Community Trademark apply for France?
Yes. France is a member of the European Union Trade Mark. Hence, Community Trademark registration system is effective in this jurisdiction.
Is there any possibility to claim priority in France?
Yes. It is possible to claim the filing date in your home country as the filing date in France provided that you meet the following pre-requisites:
- Your home country is a member of the Paris Convention or World Trade Organization
- The filing date in your home country is within 6 months from your application date in France
What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?
You have to use your trademark within 5 years of last use, meaning there should be no 5-year gap between each use. You must use it for commercial or selling purposes and the transaction must occur in the jurisdiction of France.
Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?
A trademark’s validity of term is effective for 10 years which is computed from the date the application was filed.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
Renewal date is computed 10 years from the date of filing the application.
Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?
Yes. You may legally use your trademark even if it’s not registered yet.
Does having a registered trademark in France give me any right?
Yes. This jurisdiction mandates owners to register their trademarks in order to establish rights. The first-to-file rule applies in France.
What is the web address of the trademark national office?
Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?
This jurisdiction does not mandate applicants to actually use the mark or have intention to use the mark before they apply for registration.
Can a Trademark Application be opposed?
Yes. These are the grounds for opposition:
- A similar mark was applied for in an earlier date
- The mark is strikingly similar-looking to a famous mark
- The mark has graphical indication
- The mark is hostile to a territory’s reputation and name
Who can contest my trademark registration?
The following parties can oppose a trademark from being registered:
- Owners of a similar mark that was registered at an earlier date
- A licensee of the registered mark
- Owners of products that obtain advantages from its indication of origin
Is it possible to cancel a registration?
Yes. Third-parties can make an appeal to cancel a registered mark. Grounds for cancellation include:
- Marks that are descriptive, generic, functional, misleading or non-distinctive
- Marks that consist of geographical indication and protected flags, badge, emblem or armorial bearings
- Marks that are applied for or registered in bad faith
- Marks that are prohibited in this jurisdiction including marks that contradict principles of morality and marks that go against public order
- Marks that are proven to infringe other rights
- Violation of user requirements under Section VIII.A
Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?
Yes. Owners of a registered mark in France establish the following rights:
- Exclusive right to use and profit from the mark
- Right to oppose any conflicting application and appeal for its cancellation
- Right to request for revocation of any conflicting registration
- Right to file an infringement case against parties that use the mark without permission or use a confusingly similar mark
- Right to receive damages for infringement
- Right to issue license to other businesses so they can use the mark
- Right to appeal for the confiscation of fake goods from customs authorities
How long is the opposition period?
The opposition period starts on the publication date of the application and ends two months after that date.
Is France a member of the Madrid System?
Yes. France is a signatory of the Madrid Protocol and the Madrid Agreement.
Do I need to present periodic statement of use?
No, these are not required.
When should I renew my trademark?
Succeeding renewals should be done every 10 years from the date the registration was renewed.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
Renewal date is computed 10 years from the date of filing the application.
Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?
No. Documentation is not needed for renewals.
If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?
When a trademark expires, the owner is given a grace period of 6 months to renew the mark with additional penalty fees.
What is a trademark?
A trademark identifies products and services in order to distinguish them in the market. The name, the verbal element, is not the only component that distinguishes a trademark; figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors and sounds also create an identity that can be protected through trademark registration.
With the registration, the owner (person or company) becomes the owner of the trademark. The registration is given for a particular country/territory, for certain products or services and for a specific term. While the registration is in force, only the owner may use the trademark in the market where the trademark is registered.
Some symbols to consider:
® Means the trademark is registered.
TM Some countries use this symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.
SM Some countries use this symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.
What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?
There are many ways to lay claim to your work. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection for owners of intellectual property. A trademark helps people find your goods and services. When recognized as a registered mark, it protects your right to exclusively use the image, logo, phrases, or words to distinguish your goods or a service in the market.
A patent safeguards ideas and inventions. It gives a creator or inventor exclusive rights that prevent other people from making, using, or profiting in any way from an invention or creative innovation without the consent of the inventor.
You cannot patent an idea because we all have them. You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to a problem to secure a patent.
Copyright protect published, performed, or printed creative works. People who produce artistic or musical work seek to protect their “right” to stop others from “copying” what they do. Copyright protection protects any original creative works of authors including:
- a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
- b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
- c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
- d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
- e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.
A trademark, patent, or copyright are all examples of ways you protect your intellectual property. Your right to control and benefit from your efforts are increasingly important in our global economy. Registering a formal claim to your property is a critical step in protecting what you own.
What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?
You recognize a registered trademark by the symbol of a circle-R following the trademark name or graphic image. Various typographic symbols show copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but a best practice is to use a circle-R or circle-C for copyrights every time you mention your intellectual property in print. These symbols give legal grounds for claiming damages in trademark litigation. The following is a list of some typical marks you can use on a web page, in written content, or even in a marketing letter.
- TM: The TM sign shows the brand name for an unregistered trademark classified as a product (classes 1 to 34). The owner uses this sign to mark what they believe is their brand mark.
- SM: The SM sign is identical to the TM sign except it designates a service mark (classes 35 to 45).
- ®: ®: Use the ® symbol once you register a trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
- ©: Use the © symbol to mark a copyright. The word copyright is substitute sign for Follow it with the year of the publication and owner's name. Use it whether the work has obtained copyright registration or not.
- Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
What are trademark classes?
Trademark Offices around the world use classes to divide commercial products and services into defined categories. When you apply for your trademark to protect your brand, you must define the class or classes that you believe are best describe your business activity.
There are 45 classes – 34 for products and 11 for services – which countries from around the world have standardized for international use under the "Nice International Classification".
These classes group all known products and services. You can register the same trademark if there are similar classes, for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23, and you can also register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics.
Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes. It is possible, then for two entities conducting business in different classes to use the identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. You can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business if you feel the protection must extend beyond only one class.
You can perform a search of your class with the following tool Trademark Class Search
Why do I need to perform a trademark search?
Once you have a product or service and think you have a name for it, how do you know you can use it as your own? What happens if you unintentionally use a registered trademark name? In the United States, under what common law, people can lay claim to a mark if they use it. It is not necessary to formally register a trademark. This fact and the sovereignty states have over the creation of chartered business entities and trade names, makes a trademark search imperative before one spends time and money registered a trademark.
Too many people use a name without knowing if they have legal coverage, and they put up big marketing campaigns with names that later they find they cannot use. Performing a Comprehensive Search Study before you decide to register your brand mark is a wise decision especially when you consider future risks of litigation.
It is a good idea to conduct a Study before you start doing business with a trademark. It may not be in your best interest to use a mark if another company is already actively conducting business in the same class. That company may be able to object to your use of the trademark and prohibit you from using the mark in a court of law.
What is a preliminary trademark search?
Your preliminary trademark search is an important first step before you spend time and money considering whether to apply for a potential trademark or not.
If you have trademark experience, you can use free online resources like our Trademark Searchengine, or the Trademark Electronic Search System(TESS) offered to the public by the US Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO) to search for existing marks that are identical to your planned trademark. While preliminary trademark searches are a critical part of your registration process, a successful search that show no conflicts with identical marks does not necessarily mean the Trademark Office will not reject your registration application.
if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you find a professional help. Our company offers the offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.
How do I perform a trademark search?
First, we recommend your start by defining the class you want to register. You can find your class, using our Trademark Class Search tool. Using this tool you enter your product/service, and it will tell you the class or classes you should register.
After you have found your class(es), you can go directly to your country's Trademark Office and perform the search there. You can also try our Trademark Search engines.
When searching, try different combinations of your name. For example, if you are searching for AMAZON, look for AMASON, HAMAZON, or similar word patterns. Try several different combinations of words and spellings.
Notice that several countries do not have online trademarks databases. You must go to local Trademark Office and ask for a list of trademarks.
Trademark Search may be challenging and time-consuming and, if you do not have the time or experience, our company offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where you might want to register your trademark, it will also include a list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.
Do I need an Attorney to perform a Trademark Search?
No, you don’t, but if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you find a professional help. Our company offers the offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.
Where can I perform a trademark search?
If you have some knowledge about trademark registration, you can search using our Trademark Search engine. If not, we recommend hiring a trademark attorney or trademark service like Marcaria.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially a trademark search because the entire process is complex and takes time.
Notice that if you do not complete the application process carefully, the registration process could be extended many months and cost far more than you intended to pay. The trademark search is a critical part of the process.
A broad trademark search is essential in today's marketplace given the increasing number of unregistered and common law marks. Globalization of markets also raises the question of entering international markets and registration of marks in foreign countries to protect your brand and your property rights.
You need to understand that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not guarantee acceptance and registration of your mark. A Marcaria.com Trademark Comprehensive Study includes a more extensive review process and, more significantly, a formal opinion estimating the probability of your application's acceptance.