Innovations, as well as being a way for companies to become more competitive and capture new markets, are also intellectual assets that must be protected. France's intellectual property code protects business assets in the field of innovation and intellectual property.
To protect innovations, a business can:
- identify which of its innovations can be protected (product, know-how, software, etc.);
- choose the level of legal protection to suit the innovation;
- maintain confidentiality;
- prove the existence of its innovations (tracking system, recorded evidence, lab book);
- obtain industrial property titles (patent, trademark, design/model, etc.);
- verify and acquire third-party rights;
- claim IPRs (legal flow chart, warnings, clauses in contracts, etc.);
- lay traps in its creations (deliberate errors);
- enhance its innovations;
- maintain its intellectual property.
Intellectual property rights
France's industrial property law (DPI) protects aspects such as:
Innovation protection options for businesses:
Intellectual property protection bodies
Three bodies are responsible for intellectual property:
- national: national industrial property institute ;
- European: office of harmonisation for the internal market ;
- international: world intellectual property organization.
Property rights encourage investment in innovation and research.
In France, businesses are advised to register and protect innovations with the national industrial property institute (INPI). Procedures can be completed online (filing patents, registering trademarks, etc.).
The guide to intellectual property in competitiveness clusters aims to raise awareness among those involved in R&D projects and also offer them legal tools for anticipating and resolving difficulties. It provides factsheets, summaries of regulations, methodology and contract tools, etc.
INPI also has research databases on trademarks, patents and designs/models to help answer questions on industrial property.
The technology exchange is a central database containing offers relating to transferable patents.