Obtaining a filing date

Obtaining a filing date

In order to obtain a filing date, certain conditions must be verified. It is also possible to correct the deposit but under certain assumptions.

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Chapter 1. Conditions for assigning a filing date

Section 1.1. The three minimum conditions

1.1.1. Generality

To obtain a filing date, it is only necessary to provide (L612-2 CPI):

  • an indication that a patent is requested;
  • information to identify or communicate with the applicant;
  • a description or reference to a previously filed application.

1.1.2. Indication that a patent is requested

No form requirement is necessary.

Thus, it can be presented on the form provided by the INPI (INPI Examination Guidelines, IB I.1.1) but nothing prevents, a priori, to present it on free paper.

This indication must be written in French (R612-8 CPI).

1.1.3. Identification of the applicant

Are sufficient (INPI Examination Guidelines, IB I.1.2):

  • for a natural person:
    • his name and surname;
    • if he acts for a legal person in formation, in addition to the name of that legal person;
  • for a legal person:
    • the official name of the legal person (corporate name, etc.),
    • its legal form and registered office, or
    • any indication to identify it with certainty (eg SIREN number).
  • a mailing address.

This identification must be written in French (R612-8 CPI).

1.1.4. Description and drawings

With regard to the description, no particular requirement is required: even if it does not conform to the requirements of form or substance (L612-2 CPI).

In short, just a vague text that looks like a description ...

There is no requirement for:

Section 1.2. Reference to an earlier application

1.2.1. Principle

Instead of a description, it is possible to refer to an earlier deposit (L612-2 CPI).

1.2.2. Requirements when filing

For this referral, it is necessary to provide (R612-8 CPI, fourth paragraph), for this earlier application:

  • the filing date,
  • the number of this request,
  • the office from which it was filed,
  • an indication that the reference replaces the description and, where appropriate, the drawings.

1.2.3. Providing a copy and translation

In addition, it is necessary to provide 2 months from the filing of the application, a copy of the previously filed application and, where applicable, its translation into French (R612-8 CPIfifth paragraph).

This copy does not necessarily need to be compliant.

This period benefits from a recourse in restoration: it is necessary to present this recourse in the 2 months from the cessation of the impediment, but without exceeding 1 year from the expiry of the unobserved period (L612-16 CPI). Uncompleted acts must be performed within this period.

Chapter 2. Correction of irregularities

Section 2.1. Non respect of minimum conditions

In case of non-compliance with the minimum conditions mentioned above, the irregularity is notified to the applicant: he then has a period of 2 months to correct it (R612-8 CPIsecond subparagraph) after receipt of the notification (INPI Examination Guidelines, IB I.3).

If the applicant provides the missing parts within this period, the filing date is the date on which all the documents were provided (R612-8 CPIthird paragraph).

Otherwise, the patent application is declared inadmissible and any taxes paid are refunded (R612-8 CPIthird paragraph) after the expiry of the periodINPI Examination Guidelines, IB I.3).

This period benefits from a recourse in restoration: it is necessary to present this recourse in the 2 months from the cessation of the impediment, but without exceeding 1 year from the expiry of the unobserved period (L612-16 CPI). Uncompleted acts must be performed within this period.

Section 2.2. Special case of missing parts in the description or drawings

2.2.1. Principle

When filing, it may happen that the applicant is mistaken in his description or his drawings (eg sending only one page out of two).

In this case, a correction may be possible under certain conditions.

2.2.2. Identification of error / forgetfulness and temporal conditions

The correction is only possible:

  • if the applicant becomes aware of his mistake and requests a correction within a 2 months after the deposit (R612-9 CPIsecond paragraph), or
  • if the INPI is aware of the mistake of the applicant (but nothing is guaranteed, R612-9 CPIfirst paragraph) and that the latter then requests the correction less 2 months after having received the notification from the INPI (R612-9 CPIsecond paragraph and INPI Examination Guidelines, IB I.4).

This period benefits from a recourse in restoration: it is necessary to present this recourse in the 2 months from the cessation of the impediment, but without exceeding 1 year from the expiry of the unobserved period (L612-16 CPI). Uncompleted acts must be performed within this period.

2.2.3. Correction using a priority document

If, moreover, the part that has been forgotten exists wholly in a document whose priority is claimed, it is then possible to correct its request without losing its original filing date (R612-9 CPIthird paragraph).

For this, it will be necessary to provide within the 2 months mentioned above (R612-9 CPIthird paragraph):

  • a correction request;
  • a copy of the priority application (unless it is already available to the INPI):
    • indicating where the missing parts are in this copy;
  • if necessary, a translation into French of the priority request:
    • indicating where the missing parts are in this translation.

2.2.4. Other corrections

In all other cases, the correction can not be made without modifying the filing date (ie which will become the date on which the correction takes place).

Therefore, the INPI, upon receipt of the correction documents, will inform the applicant that this correction results in a modification of the filing date (R612-9 CPIsecond paragraph).

The applicant will then have a period of 1 month from the filing of the exhibits to oppose it by withdrawing its corrections (R612-9 CPI, second paragraph) and thus renounce the corrections he himself proposed.

If finally no modification is made (or is accepted by the applicant), a "cleaning" of the application is required (R612-9 CPI, fourth paragraph): all references to the missing drawings must be removed from the description so that third parties can find their way around the application when it is published!

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