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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy

This document follows the structure set out in Article R 225-105-1 for French commercial law [‘Code de Commerce’], implemented by the French Decree [‘décret no. 2012-557’ of 24 April 2012] applicable to unlisted companies in the context of CSR implementation.


GERMAIN & MAUREAU’s objective of achieving excellence of service in the field of intellectual property, with all of the human and environmental challenges that relate to its business, is a constant preoccupation.

1 Information about employment

1.1 Employment

The workforce of GERMAIN & MAUREAU comprises 99 people, amongst which there are 10 partners, 21 engineering collaborators, 10 legal collaborators and 57 people with support functions (secretarial, I.T., accountancy and administration).

This workforce comprises 68 women and 31 men, with an age range of 14 people aged between 20 and 30, 31 people aged between 30 and 40, 35 people aged between 40 and 50, and 19 people over the age of 50.

Among this workforce, 75 people work in Lyon, 17 in Paris, 2 in Marseille, 2 in Saint-Etienne, 1 in Grenoble, 1 in Rennes and 1 in Beaune.

Recruitment essentially aims to support the growth of the firm, and concerns the collaborators (engineering or legal) as much as the people who are to strengthen the support teams.

This recruitment is of course the subject of special attention, and is essentially carried out through interviews with several of the firm’s partners.

Dismissals are rare.

In terms of remuneration, GERMAIN & MAUREAU strives to offer salaries commensurate with the high level of expertise required to carry out its business. Pay increases are determined collectively by the partners, based on objective assessment criteria, including financial indicators, participation in work of general interest to the firm, attendance at training courses, etc.


1.2 Organisation of work

Each engineering or legal collaborator and each assistant is supervised by a partner.

Work on strategic cases, the monitoring of client relations, prospecting and supervision are carried out by the partners. The collaborators monitor and handle the files that are entrusted to them, with an autonomy based on their experience and level of qualification.

Each client is assigned both a partner and a collaborator, in order to ensure optimal quality and continuity of service.

As a matter of preference, assistants are equally assigned to specific clients, to be better able to take into account in particular these clients’ administrative requirements.

Any work leaving the firm must first be signed by both a partner and a collaborator. As regards the organisation of working time, the managerial staff of the firm are subject to the time-by-day scheme [‘forfait-jour’], and non-managerial staff are subject to controlled schedules. A system using an electronic badge reader permits the correct application of this organisation to be verified.

The number of days worked each year is 218, and the number of time off in lieu days [‘RTT’] granted to employees of the firm is 10 days a year.

Many people work part-time, under various arrangements, and several collaborators work from home.

1.3. Working relations

The firm’s staff is represented in its communications with the partners by a representative body [‘Délégation Unique du Personnel’ or ‘DUP’], that groups together the Works Council and staff representatives.

The ‘DUP’ brings before the partners various staff requests relating to the organisation of work, employment law claims, etc., which are then discussed to lead to concrete steps being taken.

1.4. Health and Safety

The partners ensure that their teams can work in a peaceful and safe environment, in spacious and well-equipped offices.

Everyone’s preferences are taken into account in the positioning and layout of the workstations.

A Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committee oversees the physical and mental health of staff, as well as their safety. It particularly consulted when workstations are altered.

1.5. Training

The practice of the profession of Industrial Property Advisers requires qualifications that enable clients to be represented before French and European Industrial Property Offices.

More precisely, Engineering Advisers must obtain their degree from the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI, in Strasbourg), before sitting exams several years later to qualify from the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI, in France), and the European Patent Office (EPO, the head office of which is in Munich).

Similarly, Legal Advisers must, after the CEIPI or a Master’s degree [‘mastère 2’] in Intellectual Property, sit the exam to qualify from the INPI – enabling them to also qualify from the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM, the head office of which is in Alicante).

All of these qualifying exams require heavy preparation that takes several years.

GERMAIN & MAUREAU pays for this training in its entirety, in addition to the related expenses (travel, accommodation, documentation, etc.).

In this way, the candidates are very well prepared for the various exams, and the pass rate is high.

In-house training also takes place, on issues such as case law or on amendments to legislation both in France and abroad.

As regards administrative staff, diverse training is offered or requested throughout the year, in particular for languages and the use of office automation tools.

More generally, any of GERMAIN & MAUREAU’s new recruits follow extensive training to use our business tool called EPISOFT that enables all of the procedures and deadlines to be managed.

On average, the number of external training hours paid for by GERMAIN & MAUREAU each year amounts to some 650 hours.

1.6. Equal treatment

GERMAIN & MAUREAU has always been committed to the principles of non-discrimination and equality.

  • Action taken to achieve equality between men and women

GERMAIN & MAUREAU has put in place a plan of action that aims to reinforce the principles of equality of treatment between men and women in the firm, to set specific targets in areas such as professional training, work-life balance, remuneration, and to monitor the compliance with these commitments for so long as they apply.

  • Action taken to employ and assist people with disabilities

GERMAIN & MAUREAU employs four people with the status of employee with disabilities, when it is only legally required to employ three people.

1.7. Policy against discrimination

GERMAIN & MAUREAU ensures that its recruitment, promotions and access to professional training take place without discrimination of any kind.

GERMAIN & MAUREAU has put in place a plan of action that aims to promote the employment of young people and older employees.

For this population of employees, the action plan provides for targets for recruitment or job retention, access to professional training and the provision of work experience to trainees.

By way of example, GERMAIN & MAUREAU welcomed six trainees in 2015.

GERMAIN & MAUREAU’s work plan also provides for steps to be taken to improve working conditions, and the transition between work life and retirement.

2 Environmental Informations

The professional activity of advising inherently pollutes less and is less energy consuming than an industrial business.

Despite that, GERMAIN & MAUREAU is perfectly aware of the many improvements that can be made to reduce the impact of its business on the environment.

As regards waste management, GERMAIN & MAUREAU has installed recycling bins, and has also put in place a process to recycle paper and used printer cartridges.

As regards energy consumption, GERMAIN & MAUREAU strives to reduce its energy consumption by using LED lighting, turning off lights at night and, when the offices are empty, turning off all of the computer stations outside working hours.

On certain of its premises, GERMAIN & MAUREAU has installed occupancy sensors, to turn lights on only when someone is present.

Double glazed windows have also been installed in all of our offices, so as to reduce both heat exchange with the outside and noise pollution.

As regards the use of sustainable resources, GERMAIN & MAUREAU has installed water taps with sensors in a certain number of its toilets, and printing is double-sided, if possible, with two pages on one whenever possible.

In addition, GERMAIN & MAUREAU is in the process of fully switching over to EDM (Electronic Document Management), which will ultimately lead to reduced paper consumption.

As for commuting, most of the firm’s employees use public transport; part of these travel costs are paid for by GERMAIN & MAUREAU.

Some employees travel by bicycle; the installation of electric vehicle charging points in the car parks of the firm is being studied.

Finally, GERMAIN & MAUREAU promotes telework, thereby contributing to a significant reduction both in energy expenditure linked to work, and in the associated pollution.


3 The firm’s commitment to sustainable development

3.1. The Impact of GERMAIN & MAUREAU’s business on local economy and employment

GERMAIN & MAUREAU has been long established in the Lyon region, and its reputation in this area in particular is excellent.

Since the year 2000, GERMAIN & MAUREAU has also developed in a significant way in Paris and then Marseille.

In all of these locations, GERMAIN & MAUREAU has created many jobs in recent years, corresponding to the development of its business.

3.2. Partnership, sponsorship and educational activities

GERMAIN & MAUREAU maintains close relations with a number of associations, some of which are professionally oriented (MEDEF, CGPME, CJD, APRAM, AIPPI, GRAPI…), and others of which are charitable (LION’s CLUB, ROTARY…).

In addition, the partners and collaborators of GERMAIN & MAUREAU carry out much educational work in Colleges and Universities: Lyon II, Lyon III, EM Lyon, Paris-Dauphine, Paris College of Art, etc.


3.3. Subcontracting

GERMAIN & MAUREAU seeks to select subcontractors who implement a real strategy of employment and environmental responsibility.



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