Your company name is a super asset

In some cultures, it is said that to name is to give life.

Without a name, it is impossible to designate an idea, an object, a person. Without a name, it is impossible to talk to your friends and colleagues of the new company whose product looks very interesting and which you should follow!

That’s why as soon as you start an activity, you find a catchy name that you like and that will appeal to your target audience. This name has an extremely important value, both sentimental and financial. That’s why you have to learn to take care of it.

Since December 2019, a new path is open to protect it effectively. This is a strategic point.

About the author

By Laurence Rivière, Head of the Trademarks and Contracts Department of ICOSA – Intellectual Property Attorney

Laurence Rivière assists French and international companies of all sizes in their strategy of constitution, valuation, upgrading and defense of intellectual property rights. Laurence is also specialized in issues related to domain names and cybercrime (counterfeiting on the web and e-reputation).

To assist you and optimize your asset protection and valuation strategy, please contact Laurence Rivière:

Laurence Rivière,
Head of the Trademarks and Contracts Department

The name of my company gives me rights

When you register your company, you must indicate its name. And at that point, an intellectual property right is born, which is called the company name.

This is the name that appears on the Commercial Registry.

You can also register the trade name (the same name or a different name), which appears on all documents for third parties: investors, customers, suppliers, distributors, etc.

Finally, you can hold a right as a sign, this name that appears on the front of your place(s) of business.

Thus, by simply registering your company, your first 3 rights on a name are born. No other step is necessary. Congratulations!

You must now take care of these rights, because they are precious.

The name of my company must be unique

You don’t want your competitors to use a name too close to yours.
You don’t want your customers or potential investors to confuse you with another company
and knock on their door instead of yours.
Your customers must recognize you by your name, and distinguish you perfectly from your competitors.

I want to be the first

You must thus first and before any registration, to make sure that you are the first on the chosen name.

It is up to you to conduct searches, with the help of an Industrial Property Attorney, among all the rights that could be invoked against the use of your name in the course of business: other company names of course, but also trademarks and domain names.

You might be tempted to skip this step… but then you take a risk. Indeed, the holder of a prior right can initiate legal action (infringement and/or unfair competition) against the name of a company registered subsequently and infringing its rights.

The risk should not be underestimated. You must make sure your name is available. This information is provided by efficient and professional searches.

I want to be the last

You have to do what it takes to remain unique.  To do so, you must prevent others from carrying on the same or similar activity as you, under the same or a similar name.

Since December 2019, your corporate name allows you to file an opposition against a third party’s identical or similar trademark application.

The opposition procedure is a fast (6 to 12 months) and inexpensive administrative action that allows you to obtain the rejection of the subsequent trademark. It is therefore very efficient!

To use this new way of action, do not forget to set up a watch on your name among the trademarks. Indeed, if you have the possibility to act, you must first be informed in due time of the infringement of your rights!