We advise and assist you in the protection of the distinctive signs you use in business, placing our legal experience, know-how and expertise at your service.
Analysis of distinctive character
For the purpose of judging whether a trade mark will qualify for registration, our assessments are based both on a close consultation of the relevant case-law and the specific practice of each Trademark Office (OHIM , WIPO ...)
Watch or monitoring services and Audits
We can offer audit facilities with a view to making an assessment as to the current financial value of your trade marks and the extent to which they are adequately protected by the law. We also provide various watching services in France and abroad regarding competitors, commercial investigations and the monitoring of your trade marks.
We undertake searches and analyses as to prior rights. We provide advice and recommendation for implementing strategies for overcoming possible obstacles to the registration of your trade mark.
Applications for Registration
We ensure the proper implementation of all administrative steps including all follow-up and computer monitoring and handling of the registration formalities and deadlines.
We rely on our wide experience to negotiate and draft the various contracts regarding ownership and exploitation of your rights (transfer, assignment, licensing, franchising, etc.).
Our services are available to help defend your rights. We prepare and direct seizure operations, working closely with sollicitors.
A trade mark is a sign used by a business undertaking for purpose of identifying and distinguishing its products and services.
A trade mark may take different forms: words (neologism, acronym, expression, slogan), drawings (logo), three-dimensional forms (packaging), sounds (melody, jingle), holograms, colours and even, smells.
The registration of a trade mark confers on its owner from the time of filing an exclusive right over that sign for designating its products or services.
To qualify for registration, a trade mark must satisfy several conditions.
A trade mark is a sign which is:
- distinctive, namely without direct relation to the products and services in question;
- capable of being represented graphically;
- lawful : the sign is not contrary to public policy or morality.
The validity requirements are assessed by the administration (in France, the INPI) . In addition, a trade mark must be available. It is up to the applicant to make sure of this by undertaking the necessary priority searches before filing an application.
Depending on the number of countries in which protection is required, a variety of filing systems is available.
National Trade Mark
This title is valid within the country where the trade mark is registered.
Community Trade Mark
This scheme provides for the filing of a single application with the Community Office (OHIM) for EU-wide coverage. There is just one registration title and the main advantage low filing cost compared with the global cost of filing in different national registries.
International Trade Mark
A single application with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) , makes it possible to have a trade mark protected in countries which are members of the Madrid Arrangement and/or the Madrid Protocol . The registration cost varies depending on the number of designated countries. This scheme is highly cost-effective and limits red tape since the applicant is not required to file separate applications in each country.
Once the trade mark registered, the owner is now armed with a legal protection enforceable in the following ways:
- infringement of a trade mark is a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment and various penalties;
- emergency injunction can be ordered to prevent the illegal distribution of any products or services under the trade mark;
- opposition proceedings allow to block the registration of later trademark applications at a relatively modest cost;
- imported articles carrying the fraudulently imitated trade mark can be impounded by Customs;
- bailiffs have wide powers to investigate, seize goods and collect evidence pursuant to Court orders, when infringement is alleged.
Our firm offers consultancy and assistance with all the above steps.