Good change of name practice

Ip world
Publié le 4 July 2017

The French telecommunication network SFR will change its name at the end of 2018 to become ALTICE, and spread in all countries where the group is active (especially France, United States, Israel, and some European countries).

Beyond the marketing and image questions, this operation needs a strong legal coordination.

The new name shall often be more international and, legally stronger.

The acronym SFR meant Société Française du Radiotelephone (French Society of Radiotelephone), which, under the developped form is very descriptive of the activity, which lowers the scope of protection of the mark, or even withdraws it, because the names considered too descriptive cannot be filed as trademarks.

Happily, SFR is mostly known under its acronym, and became famous through the years.

Once the new name is chosen, it is mandatory to check that the name is available in every country through trademark searches, if necessary, to proceed with prior steps (purchasing an older trademark, obtaining coexistence agreements, etc), then to file the new name.

In the meantime, it is necessary to solve the question of the renewal of the ancient trademarks, which are, in this case, famous. Do you have to renew them although they are no longer used and will then be weaken, or abandon them, taking the risk that someone file them for a close activity?

Such a rebranding needs the help of a competent law firm to better advise you and anticipate all the steps.

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