Lexicon > Industrial property

IP Lexicon

Industrial property

Industrial property is one of the two branches of intellectual property.

It is distinct from literary and artistic property, which includes copyright (protecting the creation of an original work) and related rights.

It is governed by articles L.411-1 to L.731-4 of the Intellectual Property Code, in particular, as well as various texts at the European and international levels, such as the Paris Union Convention of 1883.

The field of industrial property applies to industrial creations as well as to the following distinctive signs

These different intellectual assets are thus likely to benefit from legal protection by industrial property rights, as long as they meet the conditions associated with the corresponding protection regime.

For example, in order for a trademark to belegally protected under trademark law, it must meet the following requirements:

  • The representation of the sign: the sign must be represented in a clear, precise, complete, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective manner;
  • Conformity with public order and good morals;
  • The absence of misleading character of the sign ;
  • The availability of the sign.

If the trademark application is accepted by the Office, and provided that it is not contested by third parties holding identical or similar prior rights (the opposition, actions for nullity, for In France and in the European Union, the trademark is protected for a period of 10 years, renewable.

Like all the provisions governing intellectual property law, the purpose of industrial property law is to enhance and confer legal protection on the economic value of an entity, particularly technical creations, ornamental creations and distinctive signs.

Indeed, these assets, which in practice constitute a real asset value for companies, must be protected and monitored in view of the increased development of anti-competitive practices in business life with the progress of digital technology.

In order to protect industrial creations and distinctive signs, industrial property rights shall be conferred on the owners of such creations and signs if they have been filed with the competent Intellectual Property Offices in accordance with the substantive and formal requirements of each, and then registered.

Thus, trademarks and designs, in order to benefit from industrial property protection, must be filed, in principle, with the INPI, theEUIPO or the WIPO, depending on the desired protection (French, European Union, worldwide).

As far as industrial creations are concerned, and in particular patents of invention, the applicant has several possibilities in order to benefit from an exploitation monopoly on his innovation. It can thus deposit it by :

  • The national route (with theINPI);
  • The European way (at the European Patent Office – EPO);
  • The international route (withWIPO,INPI or EPO).

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