Ready to Pa(y)tent in France?

Patenting in France has gotten slightly costlier after the National Institute of industrial Property recently revised the tariffs for patent procedures. The rates procedures of INPI were untouched since 2008, and hence a revaluation of the tariffs seemed long overdue. The revaluation of the tariffs was implemented by a ministerial order of June 10, 2015. The new rates are applicable to all applications made on or after July 1, 2015.

The Decree of 10 June 2015 amending the Decree of 24 April 2008 on the fees procedures collected by the National Institute of Industrial Property lays down the procedures of royalty rates for geographical indications protecting industrial and artisanal products and the extension of the designs beyond the first extension. It makes an overall appreciation of all the royalty rate procedures perceived by the INPI by 4% on average. There is also some change in the terms of payment for royalties considering some paperless procedures that were introduced during the years following 2008. Two important highlights of the decree are the modes of payment and the dates on which the royalties are considered and the annexure of procedure for royalties.

The change in rates do not appear to significantly impact the average Patent applicant, however small and micro entities and individual applicants, particularly foreign applicants might feel a certain amount of burden to obtain and maintain a patent in France. For instance; Earlier the total cost for keeping a patent alive (excluding all other costs, other than renewal fees) summed up to 5608 €; after the revaluation of rates the cost now adds up to 5850 € for a total of twenty years. The average cost of patent maintenance has now gone up from 280 € per year to 293 € per year.

This change also comes in the wake of the Euro being very uncertain with respect to its value following the exit of Greece from the Euro zone. France is one of the two biggest debtors of the European Union, the other being Italy. It has been stipulated that France may also head the Greece way if Greece happens to do well, outside of the EU. In contemplating this hypothetical scenario, the increase in rates of the procedural formalities for patents could be construed as just the beginning of a major change!

The new rates applicable are available here as a literal translation of the original document.

The post has been authored by Gaurav Mishra.

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