French patent: Taking account of inventive step by the French Patent Office (INPI)

 

As we have already announced to you, the PACTE law has established a post-grant patent opposition system in France since April 1, 2020.

In addition, the law now adds the obligation for the French Patent Office to take into account inventive step in the granting of patents.

 

Any French patent application filed after May 22, 2020 must relate to a new invention, showing an inventive step and capable of industrial application, in order to be granted by the Institute. This is the purpose of the new article L.612-12 of the French intellectual property code.

 

Why reinforce the patentability criteria in France?

 

The goal is to increase the quality level of patents and the credibility of the French patent system vis-à-vis other systems, particularly European ones, deemed to be more efficient and serious.

 

As a backdrop, as with other measures of the PACTE law, it is about strengthening the legal certainty for French patent holders to allow them to better position themselves towards their partners, investors, etc. Especially since the lack of inventive step is the main ground for cancelling patents in court.