French trademarks

Sign choice

Any type of sign is accepted on the condition of being able to be represented in the National Register of Trademarks in a manner which enables the public to determine the clear and precise subject matter of the protection afforded to its proprietor.

In addition to traditional representations: verbal sign (word or group of words), semi-figurative sign (word or group of words + logo), figurative sign (logo or images), color scheme, three-dimensional mark, packaging, or can indicate position marks, patterns, sound, multimedia, motion video sequences.

Absolute grounds for refusal

The law imposes a distinctiveness of the sign compared to the designated goods and services: the chosen sign must be able to distinguish the goods or services of one company from those of other companies. The sign chosen must therefore not be exclusively the necessary, generic or usual description of the goods and services, in everyday or professional parlance, nor designate a quality or characteristic. The more distinctive the chosen sign compared to the designated goods and services, the stronger the trademark.

Relative grounds for refusal

In addition to these requirements, it is imperative that an identical or similar sign is not already registered for identical or similar goods and services. Prior search is therefore essential before any trademark filing.