My trademark registration automatically blocks any later trademark application.
A French trademark or a EU trademark does not automatically block subsequent identical or very similar trademark applications.
When a trademark is registered, trademark offices such as INPI or the EUIPO do not verify the existence of earlier trademarks in the register. Any trademark application may therefore be accepted for registration even if there is already an identical mark in relation with the same activities. And the filing fee will not be refunded in any case.
IT IS UP TO TRADEMARK OWNERS TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THEIR MARKS:
- Before filing a trademark application, one must verify that they do not infringe any earlier rights, one must therefore conduct availability searches among all the signs used in the course of trade, i.e. trademarks, company names and domain names;
- After the mark is registered, one must monitor and watch their trademarks (see INSCRIPTA’s services here) and defend their trademark rights, in particular by filing oppositions against identical or similar trademark applications before the trademark offices.
A trademark is an essential asset for any economic actor, but as an actor, you need to act and react!