OJ EPO 2019, A54 - FR France

Filing of European patent applications pursuant to Article 75(1)(b) and (2) EPC

The French Patent Office (INPI) has informed us of certain changes relating to the electronic filing of European patent applications.

1. Applications claiming the priority of an earlier French application can be filed, in person or by post, at the EPO or at INPI headquarters in Courbevoie.

Art. R. 614-1 French Intellectual Property Code (Regulations)

2. Applicants having their residence or principal place of business in France must file applications with INPI unless claiming the priority of an earlier French filing. Such applications must not be freely disseminated or utilised without the authorisation of the minister for industrial property. Such authorisation is automatically deemed to have been given four months after the filing date or 14 months after the priority date.

Art. L. 614-4 French Intellectual Property Code

3. Applications can also be filed by fax[ 1 ] with the EPO or INPI; for INPI, the only number to use is: +33 1 56658600 (see decision No. 2014-67 of the INPI Director dated 22 April 2014 in the consolidated version dated 19 November 2018).

4. Applications can also be filed electronically using:

(a) the EPO's online services, together with:

  • a smart card issued by INPI enabling the minister for defence to confidentially view the content of the application (necessary for the applications referred to in point 2 above) or
  • a smart card issued by the EPO (only for the applications referred to in point 1 above)

(b) INPI's "e-procedures" portal on its website; select "autres démarches". (Note that, although the filing will then be online, the EPO will not consider it an electronic filing.)

EPO information brochure "National law relating to the EPC"

Users of this brochure (19th edition) should amend the information in Table II, section 5, accordingly.



[ 1 ] See decision of the President of the EPO: OJ EPO 2019, A18.