Creating a French company: French vs International trademark

Filing a trademark

Filing a trademark is one of the most important steps when creating a business. However, you have to be careful: if you file a trademark in one country, it doesn’t automatically mean it will be valid worldwide! As such, it’s worth wondering: should you have a national or a global trademark?

When should I restrict the trademark to France?

Having a trademark in France, as you would expect, prevents someone else from using your brand there. This means that this trademark allows you to expand as much as you want, as long as you don’t extend your activities to other countries. As such, if you don’t plan to export your business overseas, or at least not in the near future, filing an international trademark isn’t necessary.

Furthermore, as long as you file your international trademark within 6 months, you have a “priority right”. This effectively means that if you file a trademark on the name of your brand in France in April, as long as you extend your trademark to the world before October, someone who filed a worldwide trademark after April for the same name will be forced to give up on it.

When should I have an international trademark?

As you might expect, this is a necessity whenever you want to extend your business overseas. However, it’s worth noting that you don’t necessarily have to file a trademark for each country you want to have an activity in; there are ways to make this procedure easier on you.

In particular, if you want to have a trademark for the EU, you only need to file one to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Be careful though! You can’t do that if there’s an existing trademark on this name in any of the member states!