The French Trademark Office does not conduct any search among the trademarks already registered. We strongly recommend to conduct a search prior to filing.
Furthermore, it is also highly recommended to conduct a search among the French Company names.
We check beforehand that the sign chosen as a trademark is not likely to be refused for registration on absolute grounds of refusal (lack of distinctive character, misleading character, annoyance with public order and morality, presence of flags or coats of arms ...).
Depending on the sign chosen, a filing strategy is defined, depending on the territories in which the brand must be protected.
Finally, the list of goods and services for which the trademark will be used is defined.
Once the sign and associated goods and services have been defined, we recommend a prior search, carried out at least among identical and similar registered trademarks having effect in the territory where the trademark is to be registered, as well as on other prior rights, in particular corporate names, domain names, in order to ensure that no prior right may interfere with obtaining or using the trademark chosen for the goods and services defined.
If the research does not reveal any prior right which could prevent the obtaining or the exploitation of the trademark, the final wording of the goods and services to be designated in the application is established.
Anteriority search before filing a trademark
A trademark, to be valid, should not infringe earlier rights, such as a trademark, an industrial design or model, a company name, a copyright, a domain name, etc. (Article L711-4 of the French Intellectual Property Code).
It is therefore highly recommended to check the availability of a trademark before its filing by performing an anteriority search.
Without performing such a search before filing, the risk to have an opposition filed against the registration of your trademark becomes higher.
Furthermore, as the French Patent and Trademark Office does not check the availability of signs before their registration, invalidity proceedings on the grounds of lack of novelty or even civil infringement proceedings can be engaged against a registered trademark.
Watching trademark publications
Watching trademark publications allows to keep you informed on the filings of trademarks identical or similar to your sign, so that you have the possibility to file oppositions against such trademarks in due time to enforce your rights.
Anteriority search before filing an opposition
It is also recommended to perform a search before filing an opposition against a trademark registration. Indeed, the applicant can be the owner of another prior right and engage infringement proceedings against your trademark in response to the filing of your opposition.
We suggest you to send us regularly use evidence, so that we shall constitute a file of use evidence of the mark in France. In that manner, we could inform you of the pertinence of the evidence and remind you in case of lack of evidence long before the day when we could need it.