Intellectual Property Specialists
Accueil > Practice Areas > Intellectual Property Law > Industrial Property Law

industrial property law

What is industrial property?

Like property rights over literary and artistic works, industrial property is one aspect which forms part of the wider intellectual property legal framework.

The aim of industrial property law is to enhance and protect certain economic assets of a business, notably technical creations, ornamental creations and distinctive signs.

In effect, industrial property includes:

  • Technical creations, namely patents, plant variety rights and semi-conductor topographies.
  • Ornamental creations such as designs.
  • Distinctive signs including trademarks marks, company names, trade names, logo, domain names, appellations and indications of origin.

These assets must be protected, monitored and, should the need arise, defended. Indeed, because of their patrimonial value, these proprietary rights are regularly the subject of different attacks by competitors and are frequently copied or plagiarized.

How can creations and trademarks be protected?

Unlike property rights relating to literary and artistic works over which the creator’s rights are impliedly protected in law, industrial property rights are only protected in law once the owner has carried out some positive act to protect them which usually takes place once the right in question is registered at the relevant industrial property authority. 

Thus, in order to benefit from protection for the industrial design of ornamental creations, it is imperative to register it at the INPI in France, the OHIM or relevant foreign design registration authorities.

Similarly, in order to have a monopoly over the invention, technical creations need to be registered at the INPI for French patents and at the European Patent Office (EPO) for European patents.

In addition, in order to protect a company’s distinctive signs, namely a mark, the owner must register it at the relevant mark authority, such as INPI for a French mark, the OHIM for an EU mark or the WIPO for an international mark. For international marks through the WIPO, a single demand can be made through the Madrid System whereby the States party to the Madrid Agreement or Madrid Protocol. Otherwise, the marks will have to be registered at the relevant foreign authorities.

Lastly, a domain name will only be protected if it has been registered. A company name will not be able to be protected unless it is expressly used in the company’s articles of association and confirmed in the official incorporation documents.

Advice on industrial property

As specialists in industrial property law matters, Cabinet Bouchara & Avocats offers a tailor-made service adapted to each client’s needs and expectations, and advises on what difficulties might arise and how best to solve them.

Advice on industrial property can be important for individuals and businesses alike. Our dedicated team can assist you throughout all stages of development, from conception to creation.

Because it is important to ensure that your project or idea does not infringe upon a previous third party right, and to make sure that it will be sufficiently protected against future third party claims, it is highly recommended that you seek legal advice from industrial property speaks from the moment of creation.

Furthermore, legal representation and advice on industrial property is necessary throughout the use of the protected industrial assets in order to make sure that their protection is maintained and monitored.

Lastly, it is strongly recommended that you consult an industrial property lawyer in the event that you encounter legal difficulties such as a third party claiming a previously-held right of ownership over the sign that you are using.

Cabinet Bouchara & Avocats is there to advise and accompany you not only in order to give the best means possible to act against counterfeiters and unfair business practices, but also to advise you on how to best protect and secure your mark and design portfolio.

Advice and assistance in:

  • Carrying out a legal review of proposed projects.
  • Choosing marks, company names, domain names and other distinctive signs.
  • Strategies for protecting property rights as well as advising on the registration procedures for marks, designs and domain names.
  • Handling complaints relating to marks, domain names, designs, company names, trade names, logos and patents.
  • Managing your mark, design, domain name and patent portfolio.

 Negotiation and drafting of:

  • Sales contracts for trademarks, designs and domain names.
  • Licensing agreements for trademarks.
  • Trademark coexistence agreements.
  • Distribution contracts.
  • Franchising contracts namely in the context of industrial property.

Representation in litigation related to industrial property:

  • Plaintiff and defense representation in matters involving trademarks, designs and patents.
  • Unfair competition as a result of illegal duplication or imitation of a company name, trade name or domain name.