THE VARIOUS METHODS OF ACCESS TO PROTECTION: PATENTS, TRADE MARKS, MODELS, FRENCH AND INTERNATIONAL

Patents

NB:
The disclosure of the invention prior to the filing of a patent application causes the invention to fall into the public domain, which forms an obstacle to any possibility of subsequent protection by patent.

Once the first patent application is filed, you will have a period of 12 months to protect yourself abroad, benefiting from the date of filing of this first application.

Several extension routes can be envisaged: national, regional or international. These methods are not mutually exclusive and can be combined according to strategic and financial considerations.

The national route
The patent application is filed at the Patent Office of the State or States in which you wish to protect the invention. Each procedure is self-contained and results in the granting of a national title, independent of the titles obtained in other States.

The European route
The European patent system makes it possible, by filing a single application at the European Patent Office (EPO) and following a single examination procedure, to obtain the granting of a title that can have effect in a number of European States (more than 30). At the end of the procedure, the European patent divides up into as many national patents as there are countries designated. The filing of a translation of the patent in the official language of each of these States will then enable it to have effect.

This system considerably simplifies the grant procedure.

The international PCT route
This prior procedure makes it possible, by means of a single filing, which may be carried out at the INPI, to protect your invention in a number of States or regional organisations (more than 120 states at the present time). At the end of a given period, you choose the States in which you wish to enter the national or regional phase in order to obtain protection. You must then file a translation of the patent in the official language of each of these States. The latter then implement national or regional procedures that are identical or slightly simplified with respect to the procedures that they normally practice for filings carried out directly by the national or regional route. This procedure results in the granting of a national patent in each of the designated States.

The PCT procedure has in particular the advantage of deferring the choice of countries in which protection is requested.


Trade marks

NB
Once the first trade mark application is filed, you have a period of 6 months for protecting yourself abroad, benefiting from the date of filing of this first application.

Several extension routes can be envisaged: national, regional or international. These routes are not mutually exclusive and can be combined according to strategic international considerations.

The national trade mark
Protection is obtained country by country. The registration application is filed at the Trade Mark Office of the country concerned. In each State, the procedure is self-contained and results in the granting of a national trade mark certificate of registration, completely independent of the titles obtained in other States.

The community mark
This is a unitary title granted at the end of a single procedure and which confers uniform protection over the whole of the European Union territory. The community mark is managed by the OHIM (Office for Harmonisation of the Internal Market).

The international mark
This system, governed by the Madrid Agreement and Protocol, enables you, by means of a single application, to protect your mark in several countries. The mark is registered at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). The offices of the designated countries then have a certain amount of time, where necessary, to refuse to grant protection for all or part of the registered mark. In the absence of any objection on their part, the mark is automatically protected.

It is possible to designate the community mark in an international registration application.

The international mark has, just like the community mark, the advantage of reducing costs and considerably simplifying the registration procedure and the subsequent management of the mark.


Models

NB
Disclosure of the model prior to its filing may, under certain conditions, cause the model to fall into the public domain and form an obstacle to any subsequent appropriation thereof.

Once the first model application has been filed, you have 6 months to protect it abroad, whilst benefiting from the date of filing of this first application.

Several extensions of this are possible: national, regional and/or international. These routes are not mutually exclusive and can be combined according to strategic and financial considerations.

The national model
Protection is obtained country by country. The registration application is filed at the Designs and Models Office of the country concerned. In each State, the procedure is specific and results in the granting of a national model registration certificate, completely independent of the titles obtained in other States.

The registered community model
This is a unitary title, granted at the end of a single procedure and which confers uniform protection over the whole of the territory of the European Union. The community model registered is managed by the OHIM (Office of Harmonisation for the Internal Market).

This system has the advantage of reducing costs and simplifying the registration procedure and subsequent management of the model.

The international model
This system, governed by the Hague Agreement, enables you, by a single filing, to protect your model in several counties concomitantly. The model is registered at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). The offices of the designated countries then have a certain amount of time in order, where necessary, to refuse to grant protection to the registered model. In the absence of any objection on their part, the model is automatically protected.