Intellectual Property in France
Intellectual Property in FranceUpdated on Monday 18th April 2016
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Copyrights in France fall under the regulations of the French Intellectual Property Code (IPC) that was amended in 2006. The French Intellectual Property Code is made up of five parts divided into 52 sections. Intellectual property rights in France comprise artistic and creative rights but also industrial property such as designs, patents and trademarks.
French intellectual property in the international context
The Intellectual Property Code in France is harmonized with the international agreements regulating the protection of intellectual work. France has signed the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the Universal Copyright Convention of Geneva; it has also adhered to the World Intellectual Property Organization and, as an EU member state, France abides by the European Union’s Directives related to intellectual protection. The main regulatory body for the protection of copyrights in France is the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI).
For details about the registration process of patents or other intellectual property works, you can ask our French lawyers.
Intellectual property protection in France
According to the Intellectual Property Code, any original work derived in any form can be subject to copyright protection. The work that can be protected includes:
- - literary and artistic creations,
- - industrial designs,
- - inventions that can be patented,
- - audiovisual works,
- - computer works,
- - software or database,
- - paintings and sculptures,
- - photographic work.
According to the French IPC, the authors of protected intellectual work benefit from patrimonial and moral rights. The patrimonial rights give the author the right to sell or use his/her work in ways that could bring financial earnings. Patrimonial rights are conferred to the author for his/her entire life and will be recognized 70 years after. Moral rights offer the author recognition and respect for his/her work and name. The moral rights are offered for life and after the passing of the author, these rights will pass to his or her heirs.
New amendments to the Intellectual Property Code in France
In 2006, the French IPC was amended with new provisions. One of them referred to the fact that certain copyright protected works can be copied for personal use. The download and use of files that benefit form copyright protection have also been inserted in the IPC and the illegal use of these can attract fines or even imprisonment. Other than these amendments, recent ones have been taken into consideration for introduction in the Intellectual Property Code. Among these there are:
- - the extension of music performers and producers copyrights to 70 years,
- - an “use it or leave it” provision that offer performers the right to cancel a copyright contract,
- - works with unknown authors defined by the French Intellectual Property Code as orphan works can be digitized and made available for public use.