The National Industrial Property Institute (INPI) is the official registry in France for the registration of trademarks. In order to obtain a set of exclusive ownership rights over your mark, approval must be sought by the INPI. To speed up the trademark registration process and to ensure the mark meets all specifications laid down by the INPI, it is advised to enlist the guidance and assistance of a professional consultancy firm.
How to register a France Trademark
The INPI is responsible for accepting registration applications from individuals and business entities wishing to obtain legal protection over their mark within the boundaries of France. The registry is effectively in charge of deciding which trademarks will be approved or rejected in line with the relevant trademarks law of France (No. 91-7 of January 4, 1991).
It should be noted that before registration can be sought, a trademark must first meet all the requirements provided by the INPI, including:
- Be available for registration
- Not be of a descriptive nature
- Be one of, or a combination of, words, letters, numbers, phrases, designs etc.
- Not be offensive in nature or immoral
With some jurisdictions, it is necessary for a trademark applicant to obtain representation in the country they wish to register their mark in. EU citizens seeking to register a France trademark do not require any form of representation, however, citizens outside of the EU do.
There are many advantages to registering a France trademark, some of which include:
- Exclusive ownership over the mark within all 11 French territories
- Right to seek remedies in court if your trademark rights are infringed
- Increased customer loyalty to the product or service thus enhancing brand awareness
- France trademark rights are renewable every 10 years
- Heighten level of protection against passing off
An important fact to note is that the INPI do not conduct their own trademark search and so it is advised that a professional consultancy or attorney is enlisted to perform a thorough search on your behalf. This will ensure your application for registration is approved and the mark is in fact available for registration.
Overall, if your mark is available, distinctive, capable of graphical representation, and meets the standards as laid down by the INPI, it is likely to be approved for registration.
View our France Trademark services page to find out how Starting Business can help.