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Intellectual Property in France

Home > Intellectual Property in France | Published 2015-07-02

In 2013, customs officials intercepted over 7.6 million counterfeit objects. Pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, games, leather goods, and other objects are being copied more and more frequently. In addition to copyright protections, these items are also protected by intellectual property laws. Therefore, it is possible to go after counterfeiters and those who infringe on copyrights on two counts.

Intellectual property rights protect you from infringement

If the knock-off items are luxury products, the crime is extended to and affects a number of other sectors, like the food industry, medical suppliers, CDs, DVDs, and electronics, etc.

Today, sales of counterfeit goods make up 5-9% of world trade, resulting in worldwide losses of two to three hundred billion euros.

Currently, companies are failing to protect themselves, not fully aware of their own vulnerability until they become victims of piracy and infringement themselves.

According to Nicole Fontaine, former government representative to industries, “intellectual property, from this point on, is undeniably a survival necessity in international competition today”.

Therefore, it is in a company’s interest to protect their products and services ahead of time. Recent laws have reinforced the means of protection available to businesses. Our lawyers, up to date on all the latest developments, will know the best way to defend their clients’ work.

Which protection for which product?

Patents protect inventions—they grant their owners an exclusive title of intellectual property. The patent holder has a “monopoly” over his or her invention, but only for a period of 20 years.

Obtaining a patent calls for a detailed application, so it is advisable to contact a professional who specializes in drafting patents.

Once written, the application is brought before the INPI, which will examine it to ensure that the conditions of form and substance are met.

Protections granted to designs and models give their creator exclusive rights of operation and sales.

To distinguish one’s products and services, one should file for a trademark.

Adopting a trademark is optional, but it helps consumers distinguish between rival products, and the trademark holder has property rights for the trademark symbol.

Drawings, models, and brands can also be registered with the INPI, which is the office of French records, or nearby at the OHMI to obtain community protections and the OMPI for international protections.

If all of the conditions related to these rights are met, the protection sought will be granted retroactively from the date of the deposit.

This article is available online for public information purposes. It is updated regularly, as needed. Due to the constant evolution of the laws and the legal system, we cannot guarantee that the information in this article is still applicable. We invite you to contact us with any legal questions or concerns you have regarding this topic at +33 1 56 79 11 00. In no way can this firm be held liable for articles that contain inaccuracies or are now out of date.

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