- Foreign Associates
Why should you choose our French IP Attorneys to deal with your IP cases?
Our main office is based in the Paris Region, on the Paris-Saclay, an internationally renowned technological site, the cradle of major scientific discoveries, currently dedicated to research, innovation and creation on a national and international level. The Paris-Saclay is one of Europe’s highest ranking and largest scientific and technological hub, with 30,000 scholars, 12,000 researchers and over 160 laboratories. Considered by some to be the French Silicon Valley, the Paris-Saclay has forged its reputation as being a site with strong international influence.
As oral proceedings before the European Patent Office are normally held in Berlin or Munich (Germany) or The Hague (Netherlands), the Paris Region constitutes the perfect central location (Paris to Munich is only one and a half hours by plane and Paris to The Hague is only three hours by train).
EU member states have also recently agreed that Paris should be the seat of the central division of the future European Patent Court. The goal of this future European Patent Court is to enable a single litigation case to represent all EU countries simultaneously, rather than litigation cases being dealt with by the national courts of each country on a case by case basis.
France is thus the perfect central location in the middle of:
– European Patent Office (Berlin & Munich Germany, The Hague Netherlands)
– European Patent Court (Paris France, Luxembourg)
– World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva Switzerland) for PCT Patent Applications
– European Union Intellectual Property Office (Alicante Spain) for trademarks
France deals with the second highest volume of IP litigation in Europe, and there are indeed many reasons for choosing a French Court to deal with your litigation needs:
– France represents a significant force within the European marketplace,
– reasonable litigation durations: approximately one year in French courts of first instance,
– the Paris Court is specialized in patent litigation cases,
– reasonable litigation costs: litigation proceedings are cheaper in France than in other European countries like Germany or the United Kingdom. A typical first instance court case in France, for example, costs between 30,000 and 50,000 Euros, while in Germany, as court fees must be calculated on the basis of a fictitious “value in dispute”, costs may reach up to important amounts.
– damages are higher in France than in some other European countries. In Germany, for example, damages are usually only calculated on the basis of reasonable royalties and not on that of lost sales.
– simplicity: litigation proceedings are simpler in France than in some other European countries. For example, if you suspect that a competitor product is infringing upon three of your patents, the same French Court will judge the infringement and patentability of all three patents, while in Germany, as infringement and patentability issues must be judged by different courts, the same three patents would have to be judged by a total of six courts.
As previously mentioned, due to the decision to base the central division of the future European Patent Court in Paris, there will also be an increased probability of actually requiring a French Patent Attorney.
If one of your clients is obliged to litigate in Europe, it is very likely that they will have to litigate in France. It would therefore make sense to entrust any filing & examination proceedings of your European Patents to our French Patent Attorneys. As such, should litigation arise, they would already have a perfect knowledge of your case including invention, cited prior art, etc.
The official languages of the European Patent Office (EPO) are English, French and German.
It is therefore important to choose European Associates that are able to speak all three languages, as even if your mother tongue is English, the fact is that any of these three languages (including French) may be used during proceedings before the EPO, for example:
– during written proceedings: the EPO (during examination proceedings) and opponents (during opposition proceedings) will often cite prior art written in French, even if your patent is written in English,
– during opposition proceedings: if you file an opposition against a patent written in French in order to revoke this patent, then French will be the official language of proceedings, meaning that the patentee and the EPO will write in French and oral proceedings will be held in French,
– during oral proceedings: if an opponent files an opposition against your patent written in English, they will still be allowed to speak in French during oral proceedings. Although an interpreter will be provided, they may not be able to perfectly relay all the subtleties of the opponent’s arguments while you would still be required to respond quickly.
There are more French Patent Attorneys who speak English than English Patent Attorneys who speak French…
All of our Patent Attorneys speak French and English. Many of them also speak German.
We are perfectly at ease with communicating in English, writing patent applications directly into English, and using English before the European Patent Office as the official language of proceedings for both our own clients and those cases entrusted to us by our foreign associates.
Many of our employees have also either studied or worked in the USA, for example:
– Nurhak AKDOGAN, one year at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA
– Olivier LEGRAND Ph.D., 6 months at the California Institute of Technology (CALTECH), CA, USA
We do not charge translation fees for communicating directly in English.
IPAZ® has in-depth experience in:
– all aspects of Intellectual Property: not only patents, but also copyrights, trademarks, designs, domain names, consultations and litigations.
– all technical fields:
o mechanics, thermal science, energy, civil engineering, electricity, expert systems, telematics, monetics, materials physics, artificial intelligence, applied mathematics, etc.
o electronics, optics, nanotechnology, telecommunication, computer science, networks, micro-electronics, software, electrical engineering, etc.
o chemistry, biotechnology, pharmacy, cosmetics, phytochemistry, biophysics, food industry, medicine, etc.
We are trained in opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office.
We are also accustomed to attending oral proceedings both in Berlin/Munich (Germany) and The Hague (the Netherlands).
IPAZ® is also very experienced in litigation proceedings before the French Court, and is one of the French IP Attorney firms selected to deal with several IP litigation cases every year. We are also able to advise upon litigation cases in other European countries, especially Germany, where we usually cooperate with a well-known legal attorney firm, specialized in IP cases. In conclusion, we believe that we are able to offer our international clients the unique ability to develop a litigation strategy in Europe, and to manage ensuing litigation cases in any of the three main European languages.
We are also familiar with due diligence, should you consider purchasing a European and particularly a French competitor.