Original creations are protected by law. Consequently, all trademarks are protected by law against possible counterfeiting. The National Institute of Intellectual Property or INPI is the body responsible for trademark registration and applications in France. When a trademark is registered, it is protected, even abroad. In the event of a dispute, there are lawyers specialising in trademark law.
Registering a trademark is a complex process that requires a specialized attorney
In order to guarantee the protection of a trademark and therefore the defence of your rights, it is compulsory to register it. However, before doing so, there are a few points to check regarding the scope of the goods or services belonging to the trademark and its availability. It is essential to determine precisely which goods and services are represented by the trademark. A clear distinction will facilitate and optimize the protection of the trademark. In doing so, take your needs into account. Once the goods and/or services assimilated to the trademark have been defined, you must classify them according to the international standards provided for. In the course of this determination, you will have to check the availability of the desired classification as well as its availability. The cost of filing will be accordingly. All these steps are to be carried out at the INPI. Check your information correctly, as no correction is allowed. In case of forgetfulness, defects or errors, you must make a new deposit.
Checking the availability of the trademark is also an essential step. It is done during the classification procedure. For a trademark to be protected, it must be unique and not define similar goods or services. The risk of confusion must be avoided at all costs. A trademark must be specific. You must also search old trademarks to find similarities in goods/services or names. This analysis can be complex, which is why you should consult a specialist. A trademark attorney will be able to help you at this stage. He or she will check that your trademark is unique and that it does not infringe any existing rights.
Filing and registration of the trademark
Once all the checks have been made, you file your file with the INPI and in return you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt with the date and the national registration number. Your application will be examined and then published in the Official Bulletin of Industrial Property (BOPI) to notify the actual filing. In order to assert your rights over a trademark, there is an international registration system called “Le Madrid”. This is more advantageous for owners, as you only have to submit one file, in a specific office, in one language. The advantage of this approach is the protection of the trademark in all the States where the file has been accepted. Your rights will then be respected for 10 years, renewable indefinitely. You will be able to bring an infringement action in several countries if necessary.
The registration phase begins with publication and waiting for challenges. You will still be able to withdraw your application or part of it if you wish to do so. There is also an opposition period to receive and consider any disputes. At the end of these steps, the INPI can reject or accept your application. In the second case, the INPI publishes the registration of your trademark and you will then receive a registration certificate confirming the authenticity of your trademark and your rights. The procedures are long and complex, however, once registered, you will have the peace of mind to enjoy the financial benefits of the trademark. The assistance of a trademark attorney is always advisable during these procedures so that you will have relevant advice at all times.
The purpose of an infringement action is to preserve the author’s intellectual property, but also the rights and financial income derived from it. The judge will then rule on the validity of the rights claimed and their extent. In order to do so, anteriority is crucial. The effective date of the trademark and its filing are the temporal and legal markers that serve as proof of the actual ownership of the trademark. The filing date is therefore essential.
Accompanying a lawyer in infringement actions
At any time, an ill-intentioned competitor can take over your brand. Since you benefit from intellectual property rights, you have the possibility to take civil or criminal action for infringement. Consulting a lawyer specialized in trademark and intellectual property law allows you to protect your work.
It takes effect on the day the INPI validates the procedures and issues the trademark certificate. Between two conflicting owners, it is therefore the one to file first who is the legal owner. It sometimes happens that the latter has taken the true author in advance. In this case, it is up to the injured party to prove this.
Accompanying a lawyer in infringement actions
At any time, an ill-intentioned competitor can take over your brand. Since you benefit from intellectual property rights, you have the possibility to take civil or criminal action for infringement. Consulting a lawyer specialized in trademark and intellectual property law allows you to protect your works and inventions or creations. He can protect your rights against attempts at appropriation, such as fraudulent registration for example. In this case, he can act in opposition when the malicious person seeks to register a similar trademark.
Counterfeiting is an offence in France. A specialized lawyer may, in the context of an infringement action, request the courts to take coercive measures. He will be in charge of drafting the complaint, following it up and representing you during all legal proceedings. He will also serve as an advisor depending on the circumstances. When the fraudster attempts to appropriate his trademark, the lawyer can also bring an action for unfair competition in addition to infringement.
Preventive actions for the protection of the trademark
A trademark attorney is an indispensable ally during the trademark filing procedures, as mentioned above. When the situation requires it, he can also contribute his expertise in certain preventive measures. This is particularly the case when several parties are working on the trademark. In order to protect the rights of the author, a contract to formalize the said intellectual property clause is recommended. The latter makes it possible to anticipate possible disputes.
It should be noted that with the rapid and constant development of new technologies, counterfeiting actions are also undergoing new changes. Indeed, today many disputes concern online advertising or shared domain names. The help and assistance of a lawyer is then required to avoid inconveniences and effectively protect one’s intellectual property, which is the trademark.