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- SOUTH AFRICA
COUNTRY : FRENCH REPUBLIC
CAPITAL : PARIS
LANGUAGE : FRENCH
The IP office of France is known as the National Institute of Industrial Property.
Protection to Inventions is provided at a two tier level in France:
- THROUGH NATIONAL REGISTRATION. Direct Filing with the National Patent & Trademark office
- THROUGH EUROPEAN PATENT CONVENTION.
Kindly refer our guide on the European Patent Convention procedures.
INTERNATIONAL TREATIES TO WHICH FRANCE IS SIGNATORY
i) Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property
ii) Patent Co-operation Treaty PCT.
iii) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights “TRIPS”.
iv) European Patent Commission.
PATENT LEGISLATION IN FRANCE:
- France follows Civil Law system
- Patents in France are governed by: The Code of Intellectual Property in force since 1st July 1992. Patents in the French Territory may be granted by:
- French Office of Industrial Property “INPI”
- European Patent office at Munich
BASICS REGARDING PATENTABILITY OF INVENTIONS IN FRANCE:
Inventions may relate to products, processes or industrial applications. Patents are therefore granted to inventions that:
- Are New or Novel
- Involve an inventive step
- Comprise of a process or an Industrial application of the invention.
For an Invention to be patentable, it should contain the following:
(i). Novelty: An invention is considered new or novel if it is not included in the state of the art. State of the art consists of all the information available and accessible to the public prior to the date of the patent application.
(ii). Inventive Step: An invention is said to contain an inventive step if for “a man skilled in the art it does not yield results in an obvious way from the state of the art”.
(iii). Industrial Application: of the invention would be “when the object of the invention may be produced, manufactured or used in any kind of industry including agriculture”
INVENTIONS NOT PATENTABLE IN FRANCE:
Inventions pertaining to the following:
- Discoveries, Scientific Theories & Mathematical methods. (However industrial application of discoveries may be patented.
- Aesthetic creations.
- Plans, Principles, Methods as well as Presentation of Information.
- Computer Software. (However it may be patentable if some of its elements are activated by computer involving a program)
- Inventions contrary to public order & morals.
- Animal or Vegetal species.
- Therapeutic application of an already known medicine.
- Processes for cloning, modifying genetic identity of human beings
- Usage of human embryos for industrial purposes.
- Sequencing human genes
PartityPatents Law Firms through its associates in France is at hand to help you with patent registration and prosecution.
FILING REQUIREMENTS OF PATENTS IN FRANCE:
(i). Application to be filed in French or translation provided accordingly.
(ii). Statement according to which a French Patent is request.
(iii). Name & Address of the applicant.
(iv). Description of the invention.
(v). Claims (vi). Abstract
(viii). Title of the invention , Prior state of the art, & the Technical area of the invention.
FILING OF THE PATENT APPLICATION IN FRANCE: Applications may be filed either with the INPI in Paris or at one of its branches.
EXAMINATION OF THE PATENT APPLICATION IN FRANCE:
Within 15 days from the date of filing of the application, the INPI discloses the patent application only to the French Ministry of Defence for examination of the patent application for its utility regarding defence purposes. During this period of examination, the application is kept secret, the search procedure does not begin and the invention is not to be used publicly.
A. DOCUMENTARY SEARCH: The procedure of grant of French patents includes a documentary search designed to reveal prior art likely to affect novelty or inventive step of the proposed invention. This procedure however, does not apply to Utility Patents.
B. REQUEST FOR GRANT OF A PATENT MUST CONTAIN: • Details of the Applicant(s) and of the Invention, designation of a representative if any.
- A mention of the title.
- Indication of the type of protection requested. Application may also contain the following optional requests:
- Delayed procedure of search.
- Extension of the period for payment and search fees.
- Reduction in filing fees
- .Priority documents if a priority right is claimed.
- Priority of a disclosure of the invention in an international exhibition.
– Upon receipt of the patent application, it is examined for formalities compliances any objections forthcoming, to be addressed by the applicant within a stipulated period of time
– Patent application is published in the official bulletin to which interested third parties may file their opposition.
– Patent application is finally reviewed. application in compliance with all the requisites and no objections / opposition forthcoming is registered and patent granted.
Post Patent grant by the European Patent Office (EPO), Patent needs to be validated in the member country as designated on the Patent application.
Patent Validation comprises of certain formalities and requirements per national laws of the designated country.
Parity Patent Attorneys and Associate Law Firms in France are at hand to help and assist you with Patent Validation.
RIGHTS OF THE PATENTEE IN FRANCE:
TERM AND KINDS OF PATENTS GRANTED IN FRANCE:
Patents with a term of 20 yrs.
Utility patents with a term of 6 yrs.
i) Patents confer on holders and successors exclusive rights to work the invention.
ii) Patentee may authorise such uses of the patent through a contractual agreement with interested parties.
iii) Patentee may authorise the working of the patent either by a manufacturer or by an importer.
iv) Patentee may even assign or licence the patent.
COMPULSORY LICENCES OF PATENTS IN FRANCE:
In order to favour some aspects of public interest, compulsory licenses may be granted without the patentees consent. This decision is taken either by the judicial or by the administrative authorities. Compulsory Licenses are of two kinds:
1. Compulsory licenses of Judicial Origin: • Compulsory licence for lack of exploitation of the patent 3 yrs. after the grant or 4 yrs. after the filing of the application.
- Lack of marketing of the product in a quantity sufficient to satisfy the needs of the French market.
- Evidence that the plaintiff was unable to obtain a licence from the patent holder and that he is unable to work the patent.
- Compulsory licence for dependency, wherein the holder of a prior patent refuses to authorise the working of the improved patent. In such an instance, compulsory licence on the prior patent is given to the holder of the improved patent.
2. Compulsory licenses of the Administrative Origin:
- In the interest of public health. • In the interest of economic development.
- In the interest of national defence.
ParityPatents along with specialised Patent Lawyers and Patent Attorneys in France, can assist you comprehensively with Compulsory Licence matters.