Introduction in France of an opposition procedure to patents

Introduction in France of an opposition procedure to patents

Following the example of the European Patent Office, it is now possible since April 1, 2020, to file an opposition against a patent in France – (law n° 2019-486 of May 22, 2019 relating to the growth and transformation of companies- ordinance n° 2020-116 of February 12, 2020- decree n° 2020-225 of March 6, 2020 and decree of March 6, 2020 relating to the procedural fees of the National Institute of Industrial Property). 

This new administrative procedure allows any person (with the exception of the owner of the patent concerned) to request the total or partial revocation of a granted French patent from the Director General of the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) without having to bring an action for invalidation exclusively before the Paris Court of Justice.

Opposition must be filed within a period of nine months following publication in the Official Bulletin of Industrial Property (BOPI) of the mention of the grant of the patent which is the subject of the opposition.

The opponent may claim, in particular, that the contested invention is not new and/or does not involve an inventive step and/or is not susceptible of industrial application. The opponent may also claim that the description of the invention is not clear and complete or that the subject matter of the patent extends beyond the content of the application as filed.

Where the Director General of the INPI grants the opposition, the patent may be revoked in whole or in part or maintained in an amended form.

The decision of the Director of the INPI may be appealed before the Paris Court of Appeal.