trademark registration cost

The price of a trademark registration in France

It is often difficult to evaluate the global price of a trademark registration, which varies according to the number of classes chosen, and which, beyond the registration as such, includes additional costs that must also be considered.

The INPI: the Institute in charge of filing

The National Institute of Industrial Property, more commonly known by the acronym INPIis a state-owned institution.

Its role is to participate in the elaboration and implementation of public policies in the field of intellectual property, to support innovation and the competitiveness of French companies, and to fight against counterfeiting.
In France, only the INPI can receive and register industrial property titles (patents, trademarks, designs and models). The INPI offers a neutral and reliable service.

However, its monopoly situation leads the French public establishment to charge prices to which the public is obliged to submit, without any possibility of competition. The INPI can therefore set the amount of fees freely, even if these prices remain regulated and controlled by the State.

How much does it cost to register a trademark with the INPI?

The INPI offers many services, which some consider too expensive for small project leaders. The latter sometimes find themselves faced with a difficult choice: pay to register their trademark, or save the money, at the risk of encountering intellectual property problems later on.

Here are the main INPI filing fees, which have changed in mid-December 2019, as a result of the entry into force of the PACTE law :

  • The price of an online trademark registration is 190 euros for 1 class.
  • For each additional class, the Institute charges 40 euros.

Remember that trademark protection lasts 10 years, so the annual investment is relatively low. Even though some people prefer to limit their expenses as much as possible to concentrate on their core business when creating their company, it is always better to register your trademark before you start using itor at the beginning of its use. See our article on this subject why register a trademark ?


Other costs to be taken into account

Prior art searches: a quick return on investment

Prior to filing, it is strongly advised to conduct prior art searches. These searches make it possible to ensure the availability of a trademark in its sector of activity, and therefore its freedom of use.

Regarding the price of research:

  • Identical searches do not require any particular investment: they are carried out on databases that are freely accessible and make it possible to detect any prior trademarks that are strictly identical to one's project.
  • Similarity searches are not free. The INPI offers searches in the form of listings, starting at 80 €. They consist of a listing of relevant prior trademarks that are visually or phonetically close to your project. For example, if the proposed trademark is GRINGO, similarity searches will identify earlier trademarks such as GRINGUETTE, GRINGA, BINGO, etc...

Not all the marks found by the INPI during prior art searches are relevant, but in order to know the potential danger they represent, it is necessary to apply an precise method of analysis. As the INPI does not offer an analysis service for these trademarks, the applicant is left to his own devices. In almost all cases, the applicant is not able to draw the right conclusions from such a listing, which is then useless to him. If you wish to carry out a search for similarities, we advise you to consult an Industrial Property Attorney to analyse them. Do not hesitate to consult our offers on this subject.


The cost of renewing a trademark registration

Renewal is only possible after 10 years. In the meantime, there are no fees to pay to the INPI for the maintenance of the trademark. To date (April 2023), the cost of renewing a brand The cost of the French renewal is 290 € for 1 class, and 40 € for each additional class. Attention: if you renew late, you will have to pay a surcharge (corresponding to 50% of the amount of taxes).

Fake prices": publication scams

Beware, unscrupulous companies systematically send letters to applicants asking them to pay a high fee for the publication of their trademark on their registers. They usually take names that sound "official", like "European Institute of Intellectual Property"; " IPTR - International Patent and Trademark Register ". 

Some people are tempted to pay these bills. This is a common scam, which can also be encountered when starting a business. Consult on this subject our blog post on publishing scams.

What happens to the fees in case of refusal or objection?

When your trademark is refused by the INPI (either during the examination or after an opposition), the fees are not refunded. The INPI keeps the fees paid even if the registration is not completed.

If you file a non distinctive trademark, it will be refused (partially or totally) and there is no recourse to get your money back. You will then have to start the whole procedure again from scratch, and pay the price of a new application.

This is why it is preferable, before filing, to ensure that your trademark is registrable and available.

Registering your trademark directly or seeking legal advice

Intellectual property is a particularly vast and complex subject, requiring in-depth knowledge. It is important for applicants to be aware of the existing risks, in particular those related to trademark registration. The solidity of the project can be turned upside down in the event of a bad filing, a challenge from a competitor with important financial means, or a lack of information on this field.

In this case, the use of an Intellectual Property Counsel is extremely relevant, and prices can remain accessible to even the tightest of purses.

Update: April 2023