5 mistakes to avoid when registering a trademark in France

The common company mistakes

If you’re not a French resident or an expert in French law, it can be easy to be a bit too eager when setting up a company. As such, you might end up making some mistakes when registering your business, in particular, when registering a trademark. So what are the mistakes you must avoid?

1 – Choosing an incorrect trademark

You can actually deposit a trademark on quite a few things! It can be on a name, a slogan, a logo…

However, there are some situations in which the authorities will not let you register a trademark. In particular, this can happen when your trademark:

  • Goes against public order (for example if your trademark encourages people to consume illegal drugs).
  • Is deceptive. Your trademark cannot strongly imply that your product has a certain characteristic when it, in fact, doesn’t.
  • Is purely descriptive (for example if you want to deposit the name “shoe” for a shoe company)

2 – Depositing a trademark for the wrong activity

In France, your trademark has to be registered for specific activities. This is important, as different activities have different rights when it comes to trademarks.

There will be differences between filing a trademark for a song, and filing one for software, for example.

3 – Depositing a trademark that is already in use

Obviously, you can’t deposit a trademark that someone else is already using. Doing so would defeat the whole purpose of trademarks in the first place, after all!

However, this also means that if someone with the same family name has already filed a trademark, you won’t be able to use your family name as your brand name, for example.

4 – Depositing your trademark in the wrong country

Your trademark is only protected in the country it has been deposited in! As such, if you’re expecting to expand your activity to other parts of Europe, or other parts of the world, you need to make sure that these countries are covered as well!

5 – Not surveilling or making use of your trademark

On top of registering your trademark, you also have to use it for your rights to be covered.

That’s not all, however; not only will trademarks only be active for 10 years, but it’s also possible for people to deposit a name or a slogan that is very similar to yours. As such, it’s a good idea to regularly keep an eye on things, to make sure that no one has a name and activity that is too similar to yours, and that your trademark isn’t about to run out.