In practice / filing

Who can file a trademark?

Whether you are an individual or represent a legal person (company, association, etc.), you can file your trademark yourself or call on a professional representative to help you with the process.

Natural or legal persons

A trademark can be filed in the name of one or more persons, natural or legal, who will own the trademark once it is registered.

  • The following are considered to be natural persons: individuals, craftsmen or merchants exercising as an "entreprise individuelle" (sole proprietorship), the liberal professions, etc.
  • Are considered as legal persons: civil companies (GAEC, SCI, etc.) or commercial companies (SA, SARL, etc.), EIGs, associations, foundations, the State (represented by one of its ministries), local authorities, trade unions, public establishments, etc. Although it does not yet have an official existence, a company in the process of being created can also file a trademark. It is up to its founder, possibly represented by a representative, to take the necessary steps. Once created, the company will only have to take over the trademark application carried out during its creation period, to become its official owner.

Choosing a representative

Any applicant may request the services of a representative to represent them. The representative may be:

  • an industrial property attorney with the mention “trademark” or a lawyer
  • a person entitled to represent the applicant before the INPI: these persons are registered on a special list
  • a professional from a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area entitled to represent any person before the industrial property office of their country
  • a company established in the European Economic Area which is contractually bound to the applicant company.


Unless the representative is an industrial property attorney or a lawyer, he/she must include a power of attorney with the application in order to act on behalf and for the account of the applicant. Depending on the cases, this power of attorney may be:

  • a special power of attorney, i.e. a power entitling the representative to act exclusively for the application concerned. This power of attorney must be included with the application
  • a permanent power of attorney, i.e. one entitling the representative to represent the applicant generally and for all formalities. In this case, the power of attorney must be registered with the INPI before making the application. The representative must provide a copy of this power whenever he/she acts on behalf and for the account of the applicant.

Appointing a representative may be mandatory

The appointment of a representative is mandatory:

  • when the trademark is filed in the name of several persons
  • when the applicant is neither established nor domiciled in France or in a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area.

Please note: if the applicant is neither domiciled nor established on French territory and is not a national of a Member State of the World Trade Organization (WTO) or of the Paris Union, he must provide the INPI with proof that his country grants protection to French trademarks.
If these supporting documents are written in a foreign language, a French translation must be provided.

One minute to understand

Three possible scenarios

  • The applicant is a natural person, represented or not by a representative.
  • The applicant is a legal person, whether or not represented by a representative.
  • The trademark is filed by several persons, natural or legal, who must be represented by a common representative.