November 7

Registering your trademark alone at the INPI: the risks


Registering your trademark alone at the INPI: the risks


It is perfectly possible to register your trademark alone at the INPI.. Many applicants do this every year. But beware, the filing procedure is more complex than it seems. Moreover, it often happens that a trademark application can lead to complications that are sometimes insurmountable (notification of the INPI, opposition from a third party). To avoid wasting time and money, it is therefore preferable to be accompanied by a professional. If, however, you prefer to file alone, here are the risks you run.

1. Pre-filing risks: filing without a prior art search

When you register your trademark without professional assistance, you are usually satisfied with a very basic availability search. Thus, applicants check only on the INPI database if the brand is available. But beware, such a search is not enough. The site only returns identical trademarks. The search engine will not identify similar trademarks (which nevertheless represent an important potential risk).

In addition, applicants most often focus their checks on earlier trademarks. They do not search among other rights that constitute opposable prior rights. Indeed, a trademark application could be cancelled if it infringes a company name, a domain name or an appellation of origin.


2. Risks when filing: filing without wording

The main risk is that the brand does not reflect the reality of your business. Most often, this is the case when you take over the suggested wording proposed by INPI. The INPI data are only indicative, and just because you select all possible options does not mean that you will be better protected. On the contrary! By doing so, you risk encroaching on someone else's flowerbeds. In addition, it often happens that your brand does not protect you for your activities.

For example, you offer massage services. You want to register your trademark. So you're going to select class 44, because it's for beauty salons. If you check all the options suggested by the INPI, your wording will look like this: "...". Agricultural, horticultural and forestry services; medical services; veterinary services; skin care services (hygienic and beauty care); medical assistance; cosmetic surgery; hospital services; nursing home services; convalescent home services; nursing home services; opticians' services; alternative medicine services; beauty salon services; hairdressing salon services; pet grooming; gardening; landscape gardening services. "Your brand will target activities that are not related to your own (grooming, gardening, cosmetic surgery). But the worst part is that it won't even include the mention "massage services".


3. Post-deposit risks: believing yourself to be well protected

Many applicants are convinced that once the trademark is registered, they are safe. But filing is only one step in the life of your trademark.

Before your trademark can be registered, it will first be published and examined by the INPI. As from the publication, third parties have 2 months to oppose your application. Be aware of letters of formal notice, which often offer an amicable solution to settle a conflict.

In addition, other problems may arise: the INPI may send you a notification of a problem with your brand. As far as possible, these notifications should be responded to. Otherwise, you risk losing your trademark rights.


As we've seen, there are risks involved in registering a trademark. Whether it is during the filing and opposition procedures or when replying to notifications, a certain formalism must be respected. To put all the chances on your side, it is often preferable to be accompanied by a professional. Don't take any risks with your trademark registration!



filing alone, trademark application, INPI, wording, notification, opposition, filing procedure, risks

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