What is real
is not external form.



CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI

How to choose your brand name

04.06.2018


The sign you choose as a trademark must be graphically represented. It can take various forms such as a word, a name, a slogan, numbers, letters, a drawing or a logo.

Different types of trademarks

Some signs may not be registered as a mark, such as a word or a phrase used to describe your product or service, for example, or terms that could mislead the consumer about the nature, characteristics or provenance of your product.

The brand can take various forms such as a word, a name, a slogan, numbers, letters, a drawing or a logo.

  • The sign you choose as a mark must be graphically represented. It can take various forms such as a “word” mark (word, name, slogan, numbers, letters, …), a “figurative” mark (drawing or logo) or a “semi-figurative mark”. is a combination of both.
  • Some signs may not be registered as a mark, such as a word or a phrase used to describe your product or service, for example, or terms that could mislead the consumer about the nature, characteristics or provenance of your product.

 

What can be protected

A word, a name

  • Yoplait
  • Guy Degrenne

A slogan

  • Because you are worth it (L’Oréal)
  • Darty, the contract of trust

Numbers, letters

  • 307 (Peugeot)
  • Please
  • 24 Faubourg (Hermès)

A drawing, a logo

  • the rafters (Citroën) (fig.1)

A combination of these different elements

  • a drawing and a name in a particular graphic (Lacoste)
  • a name with a particular graphic (Perrier)

A sound sign (sound, musical phrase)

  • provided that it can be represented graphically (eg a musical staff)

A nuance of color, mentioning in the description of the brand the reference of the shade in an internationally recognized code, such as the “Pantone code” (figathlon – Pantone process blue quadri cyan 100%)

A trademark can also take the form of a hologram, be in two or three dimensions (Guerlain) (fig.6) or written in a foreign language.

An olfactory trademark cannot be registered.

 

What cannot be protected

Certain signs may not be registered as a trademark, such as a word or a phrase that may mislead the consumer about the nature, characteristics or provenance of your product or service.

 

Do not choose:

A sign, word or phrase used to designate your product or service.

Ex .: the word “baba” cannot be filed alone to designate pastry.

 

A sign, word or phrase that describes your product or service.

Ex .: the term “pure wool” alone cannot be chosen for a woolen rug.

 

“Laudatory” terms used alone, such as “Super” or “More” …

 

A term that could mislead the consumer as to the nature, characteristics or provenance of the product.

Ex: “Lavablaine” for cotton fabrics; “Genéva”, for watches made in France.

 

A word or phrase contrary to public order or morality, like a racist slogan.

Some public arms, flags or other protected official signs, listed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

 

A designation of origin. It is constituted by a regulated name, which is that of the place from which the product is derived from which it owes its specific characteristics.

Ex: “bordeaux” only, for a wine, is forbidden.

 

Trademark availability

Before you file your trademark, you must ensure that the sign you have chosen is available, that is to say, it does not reproduce or imitate a sign that has a prior right, for products or services that are identical or similar to yours.

If your trademark is not available, it may be challenged at any time by the owners of prior rights who may, for example, attack you for infringement or unfair competition and prohibit you from exploiting your trademark.

For more information about trademark research, you can read more on our blog.

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