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Frequently Asked Questions

French Intellectual Property Law :

A competitor is copying my product - what should I do ?
How might I protect my trade-mark, patent or other intellectual property on French territory?






A competitor is copying my product - what should I do ?

There are a number of possible steps which it might be useful to take in the first instance and these would have as their aim to obtain objective, principally documentary, evidence of the copying of the particular product.
Nevertheless, as a preamble an initial check should always be carried out to ensure that the product in question was protected within French territory, by some sort of intellectual property right such as a trade-mark, patent etc.
Subject to ensuring that the product enjoyed such protection in France, an example of a particularly powerful step would be the filing of an ex-parte petition with the Presiding Judge of the Commercial Court seeking an authorisation for a bailiff, accompanied by a police officer and possibly a technical expert in the particular field, to enter the competitor’s business premises with a view to seizing evidence of the alleged infringement.
The matter must thereafter come before an open Court with a view to an intra-partes hearing and the defendant may of course seek damages if the ex-parte steps were not carried out in the prescribed legal manner and if they failed to produce evidence of an infringement.



How might I protect my trade-mark, patent or other intellectual property on French territory?

There are a number of Patent Attorneys or Agents (in French Conseils en Propriété Industrielle) throughout France, whose role is to advise clients who wish to envisage the protection of their intellectual property.
Thereafter, the Patent Attorneys, who incidentally are not members of the Bar but a totally separate and independent profession, would deal with the required filing with the relevant French (and if necessary European) authorities.
French Patent Attorneys are also able to act as advisors to parties in litigation as well as giving testimony as (unilateral) expert witnesses, although in French judicial system, a single independent expert witness is more often than not appointed by the Court and his written opinion becomes binding upon all the parties to the proceedings.
To obtain a list of certain French Patent Attorneys please click here, but kindly note that this list is supplied purely as information and as a courtesy and no liability may be construed from its provision.







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