Publication of the PACTE Law: significant changes on Intellectual Property
The famous PACTE law (Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation) was published on 22 May 2019 in the Official Gazette of the French Republic.
The Law contains important provisions on Intellectual Property.
As for patents, the Law provides an increased examination for French patent applications within a year from the enactment of the Law. The INPI will then have the power to reject a patent application on the ground of lack of novelty (and not just in case of obvious lack of novelty) or of lack of inventive step. The Law also provides a right of opposition to patents. Such patent opposition proceedings will be established, by way of order, within a nine-month deadline.
As for trademarks, the Law authorizes the Government to take, by way of order, within a six-month period from its enactment, the steps necessary to implement into French law the Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015. Such directive aims at harmonizing the trademarks laws of the Member States. A first version of this draft order has already been presented and should soon be examined by the Council of State.
The Law also contains provisions on prescription. Invalidity actions against designs, patents, plant variety certificates or trademarks become imprescriptible and infringement actions are now prescribed for five years from the date on which the right holder became aware or should have became aware of the facts permitting him/her to exercise such right.