Intellectual Property Specialists
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literary and artistic property law

As a specialist in intellectual property law matters, Cabinet Bouchara & Avocats is able to advise and represent clients in matters relating to industrial property as well as to those concerning literary and artistic intellectual property.

What is literary and artistic property?

Like industrial property, literary and artistic property is another area of law which falls within the wider legal intellectual property framework. It applies to works of the mind.

Literary and artistic property refers to both the direct rights of the author or creator, as well as to accompanying ancillary rights. Therefore, literary and artistic property protects works of the mind, these being original acts of creation which express the author or creator’s personality.

Works of the mind are therefore protected in law. Under the law of authors’ rights, the author or creator has both patrimonial and non-patrimonial rights over the works which can be invoked to protect the work from counterfeit or literary or artistic plagiarism.

Patrimonial rights over the work allow the author or creator to determine how it can be used and gives the author the following rights:

  • The right of reproduction.
  • The right of representation.
  • The right to resell.

Non-patrimonial rights can be invoked in defense of the author’s personality and include:

  • The right of disclosure.
  • The right of withdrawal.
  • The right of respect to the name of the work and its quality (the right of authorship).
  • The right of respect to the work itself.

Compared to the common law system of copyright law, the moral and non-economic rights provided for under the law of authors’ rights are extremely strong as they are inalienable, perpetual, imprescriptible and enforceable against the world.

How are literary and artistic works protected?

Unlike industrial property whereby the rights are only protected following registration of the right with a relevant registration authority, literary and artistic works are not subject to any legal formality in France and are implied in law.

Thus, a literary or artistic work is protected from the moment of creation and by virtue of its creation.

At the same time, it is important to note that not all creations are able to be protected under the law of authors’ rights. Indeed, ideas cannot be owned and therefore do not become any one individual’s property.

Also, in order to be protected and invoke property rights against a third party, the author must provide proof of both the originality of the work as well as ownership of the work through establishing its creation and the date of creation.

It is therefore strongly advised, in matters concerning literary or artistic property, to record established evidence which will allow the author to prove the creation and date of creation should the need arise in a case of counterfeit or infringement, for example.

Furthermore, it is a good idea to consult a lawyer working in the field of literary and artistic property law, for instance when it comes to organizing assignment agreements for the use of property rights between the author and external companies or when it comes to assigning the rights of employees or freelancers and consultants who work directly with the company.

For these matters and more, the specialist lawyers of Cabinet Bouchara & Avocats are able to assist and advise clients in protecting their literary and artistic works, and in representing clients in litigation.

Examples of literary and artistic property:

The law of authors’ rights protects creations as long as they are original regardless of their type, form of expression, merit or destination.

Furthermore, a number of different forms of property can be protected under the law of authors’ rights provided the works are original. Some examples might include:

  • Music.
  • Literature.
  • Audiovisual works.
  • Graphic design.
  • Graphic art.
  • Pure art.
  • Applied art (fashion, architecture, digital art).
  • Photography.
  • Advertisements.
  • Websites.
  • Software.

As this list is not exhaustive and continues to evolve, our firm can assist you in determining whether your work is eligible for protection under authors’ rights law and whether you can rely upon the legal protection provided for in invoking your rights in an infringement or counterfeit action against a third party.