Types of protection

Patent: A patent in France is for an invention that is new (novel), capable of industrial application, involves an inventive step and should not result in an obvious way. A French patent has a maximum period of protection of 20 years from the filing date.

Utility Certificate: The Utility Certificate is an industrial property title issued by the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) which gives protection for a maximum period of 6 years. The Utility Certificate must meet the same requirements for patentability as the French patent. The utility certificate is worth obtaining to protect an invention's short lifespan.1

Plant Variety Certificate: A Plant Variety Certificate grants a title of protection with respect to any new variety created or discovered, of a genus or species of plant. This certificate is issued by the Committee for the Protection of Plant Varieties (INOV).2

Convention and treaty membership

France became a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty in January 1978 and is a signatory of numerous treaties and conventions, including but not limited to:

  • Paris Convention
  • Budapest Treaty
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
  • Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification
  • Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs3

International, National and Regional applications

For information regarding how to file international, regional or national patent applications in each country, we welcome you to contact us.