Depositing your trademark: How does it work in France?

Company trademark stages in France

Depositing a trademark is one of the most important steps when creating a company. However, in France, it can also be surprisingly complex. As such, here is every single step you need to take to register a trademark in France!

1 – Decide on a trademark that can be protected

You can’t just file anything as a trademark. Indeed, while a trademark can take many different shapes (a name, a logo, a slogan…), that doesn’t mean you can ask for anything to be protected.

In particular, you can’t put a trademark on a word that describes your activity, or on an existing official flag or sign.

2 – Determine when your trademark is going to be used

In France, you only register a trademark for a select activity. As such, it’s important to determine beforehand what products or activities your trademark is going to be used for.

If you file it incorrectly, or if you modify your activity in the future, you might have to register your trademark again, so be careful!

3 – Perform a prior search rights

This consists of making sure that no one has already taken this trademark. Thankfully, you only need to make sure that this name is available in your particular field activity.

4 – File your demand to the INPI

INPI stands for “Institut national de la propriété industrielle” (which roughly translates to “National institute of industrial property”). All you have to do is to follow the form given to you by the INPI. You can perform this step either online or on paper, so it’s quite convenient!

Though, keep in mind that registering a trademark costs between 210 and 245 euros.

5 – Receive your registration certificate

If the INPI has found no problem with your trademark, then you’ll receive your registration certificate! Unfortunately, this step can take up to a few months. However, once your trademark has been registered, it will stay active for 10 years.