Lexicon > Agent

IP Lexicon


The agent in intellectual property is the person responsible for representing a third party, (an individual or a company), its “principal”, in particular before the Intellectual Property Offices, in order to carry out the formalities and acts necessary to acquire, maintain and defend the rights of intellectual property.

Thus, the person or company wishing to file a a brand, a patent or even a design may decide to file the application on its own or to use an agent, in compliance with the articles R.712-2 and following, R.612-2 and following and R.512-2 and following of the Intellectual Property Code.

In some cases, however, the appointment of a proxy is mandatory, such as when:

  • The trademark, patent or design is registered in the name of several persons or companies: the plurality of applicants prevents the registration from being made on the head of only one of them, a common agent is required;
  • The applicant is neither established nor domiciled in France or in a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area.

The agent, who must be specifically qualified, may include:

  • a lawyer, preferably specialized in intellectual property;
  • an industrial property attorney (CPI), a profession regulated by Book IV of the Intellectual Property Code, which requires the passing of a professional qualification examination .

Once appointed by the applicant, the agent must submit to the Intellectual Property Office, and in particular at the time of filing the application for rights, a power of attorney authorizing him to act in the name and on behalf of the applicant.

However, this does not apply to persons acting asattorneys or patent attorneys, who are usually responsible for the management of their clients’ trademark or design portfolio .

Said power of attorney to be attached to the filing may be in two forms:

  • It is called “special” when it authorizes the agent to act only in the specific context of a particular deposit. This power of attorney must be attached at the time of filing;
  • It is said to be “permanent” when it authorizes the agent to represent the applicant in general and for all types of procedures related to his industrial property rights. In this case, the power of attorney must be registered withINPI prior to filing and a copy must be provided each time the agent acts in the name and on behalf of the applicant.

Moreover, if no agent has been appointed on the day of filing of the title concerned, it is always possible to appoint an agent afterwards, in particular in case of :

Point of attention

When the applicant is not domiciled or established on French territory and is not a national of a member state of the World Trade Organization or the Paris Union, he must provide the INPI with proof that his country grants protection to French trademarks, designs or patents according to the intellectual property right in question

Update on foreign language documents

When they are written in a foreign language, all supporting documents (contracts, minutes, k-bis, certificates, powers of attorney, etc.) submitted to INPI must be accompanied by a French translation.

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