Priority

Priority protects against disclosure between priority demand and its own request. But it is not that simple …

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Chapter 1. Applicable text

France is a signatory State of the Paris Convention from the very first hour (the reverse would have been surprising): the article A4 CUP managing priority issues is well applicable in France.

The CPI does not explicitly indicate that CUP is applicable but the international treaties signed by France are applicable (A55 of the constitution of the 5th republic).

Chapter 2. Substantive conditions to be respected

Section 2.1. People who can claim a priority

2.1.1. Nationals of a Union State or Member of the WTO

Because the Unionist right of priority applies only to the States of the Union (A1.1 CUP) or a member of the WTO (A2.1 TRIPS together A1.1 CUP), it has been interpreted that only persons who are nationals of these States may claim a Unionist right of priority.

However, there are no conditions of residence for these nationals (A2.2 CUP or A2.1 TRIPS together A2.2 CUP).

Such persons are defined as persons who are domiciled or have establishments "effective and serious"In the territory of one of the countries of the Union (A3 CUP) or a member of the WTO (A2.1 TRIPS together A3 CUP).

2.1.2. Limitation

Nevertheless, this does not mean that there are only these conditions to claim a priority.

The only people who can claim priority are (A4.A.1 CUP):

  • the applicant of the earlier application;
  • his having cause:
    • the transfer of the right of priority must have taken place before the filing date of the application claiming priority;
    • the transfer of the right of priority must be recorded in writing (L613-8 CPIparagraph 5) on pain of nullity;
    • proof of the transfer must be provided in the 16 months from the priority date (R612-24 CPIparagraph 5).

It should be noted that the assignment of the priority application does not automatically entail, according to French case law, the assignment of the right of priority (the right of priority is an independent right, not incidental to the right to the patent, Court of Appeal of Paris, May 11, 1987): pay attention to the terms of the contract.

In addition, a broad stipulation of the type "with all the rights attached to it without any reservation or exception"Does not seem sufficient to give up the right of priority (Cass. com. June 18, 1996, No. 94-18909).

Section 2.2. Requests to claim a priority

2.2.1. Nature of requests

The application on which a priority claim for a patent application is based may beA4.E.2 CUP):

  • a patent application,
  • a utility model application.

2.2.2. Origins of requests

The priority request must have been filed:

The majority of "regional" applications (eg EP patent applications) provide that the filing of a "regional" application is equivalent to a national filing in one of the member countries. For example, a European application will give rise to a right of priority in France (A66 CBE).

In addition, the priority application may also have been filed in a country that provides similar priority provisions (L611-12 CPI).

Here is a list of CUP and WTO countries:

STATEWTOPCTPLTCUPEPC
South Africa01/01/199516/03/200901/12/1947
Albania08/09/200004/10/199517/05/201004/10/199501/03/2010
Algeria08/03/200001/03/1966
Germany01/01/199524/01/197801/05/200307/10/1977
Andorra02/06/2004
angola23/11/199627/12/200727/12/2007
Antigua and Barbuda01/01/199517/03/200017/03/2000
Saudi Arabia - Kingdom of11/12/200503/08/201311/03/2004
Argentina01/01/199510/02/1967
Armenia05/02/200325/12/199125/12/1991
Australia01/01/199531/03/198016/03/200910/10/2025
Austria01/01/199523/04/197901/01/200901/05/1979
Azerbaijan25/12/199525/12/1995
bahamas10/07/1973
Bahrain - Kingdom of01/01/199518/03/200715/12/200529/10/1997
bangladesh01/01/199503/03/1991
Barbados01/01/199512/03/198512/03/1985
Belarus25/12/199125/12/1991
Belgium01/01/199514/12/198107/07/188407/10/1977
belize01/01/199517/06/200017/06/2000
Benign22/02/199626/02/198710/01/1967
Burma01/01/1995
Bhutan04/08/2000
Bolivia - Plurinational State of12/09/199504/11/1993
Bosmie Herzegovina07/09/199609/05/201201/03/1992
botswana31/05/199530/10/200315/04/1998
Brazil01/01/199509/04/197807/07/1884
Brunei Darussalam01/01/199524/07/201217/02/2012
Bulgaria01/12/199621/03/198413/06/202101/07/2002
Burkina Faso03/06/199521/03/198919/11/1963
Burundi23/07/199503/09/1977
Cambodia13/10/200422/09/1998
Cameroon13/12/200524/01/197810/05/1964
Canada01/01/199502/01/199012/06/2025
Green cap23/07/2008
Chile01/01/199502/06/200914/06/1991
China11/12/200101/01/199419/03/1985
Cyprus30/07/199501/04/199817/01/196601/04/1998
Colombia30/04/199528/01/200106/09/1996
Comoros03/04/200503/04/2005
Congo27/03/199724/01/197802/09/1963
Korea - Republic of01/01/199510/08/198404/05/1980
Costa Rica01/01/199503/08/199931/10/1995
Ivory Coast01/01/199530/04/199123/10/1963
Croatia30/11/200001/07/199828/04/200508/10/199101/01/2008
Cuba01/01/199516/01/199617/11/2004
Denmark01/01/199501/12/197828/04/200501/10/198401/01/1990
Djibouti01/01/199513/05/2001
Dominica01/01/199507/08/199907/08/1999
Egypt01/01/199506/09/200301/07/1951
El Salvador01/01/199517/08/200619/02/1994
United Arab Emirates10/04/199610/03/199919/02/1996
Ecuador21/01/199607/05/200122/06/1999
Spain01/01/199516/11/198907/07/188401/10/1986
Estonia13/11/199524/08/199428/04/200524/08/199401/07/2002
United States of America01/01/199524/01/197830/05/1887
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia04/04/200310/08/199522/04/201008/09/199101/01/2009
Fiji14/01/1996
Finland01/01/199501/10/198006/03/200620/09/2021
la France01/01/199525/02/197805/01/201007/07/188401/10/1977
Gabon01/01/199524/01/197829/02/1964
Gambia23/10/199609/12/199721/01/1992
Georgia14/06/200025/12/199125/12/1991
Ghana01/01/199526/02/199728/09/1976
Greece01/01/199509/10/199002/10/202401/10/1986
Grenade22/02/199622/09/199822/09/1998
Guatemala01/01/199514/10/200618/08/1998
Guinea01/01/199527/05/199105/02/1982
Guinea-Bissau01/01/199512/12/199728/06/1988
Equatorial Guinea17/07/200126/06/1997
guyana01/01/199525/10/1994
Haiti30/01/199601/07/1958
Honduras01/01/199520/06/200604/02/1994
Hong Kong - China01/01/1995
Hungary01/01/199527/06/198012/03/200801/01/197901/01/2003
Solomon Islands26/07/1996
India01/01/199507/12/199807/12/1998
Indonesia01/01/199505/09/199724/12/1950
Iran04/10/201316/12/1959
iraq24/01/1976
Ireland01/01/199501/08/199227/05/201204/12/202501/08/1992
Iceland01/01/199523/03/199505/05/196201/11/2004
Israel01/01/199501/06/199624/03/1950
Italy01/01/199528/03/198507/07/188401/12/1978
Jamaica01/01/199524/12/1999
Japan01/01/199501/10/197815/07/1899
Jordan11/04/200017/07/1972
kazakhstan25/12/199119/10/201125/12/1991
Kenya01/01/199508/06/199414/06/1965
Kyrgyzstan20/12/199825/12/199128/04/200525/12/1991
Kuwait01/01/1995
Lesotho31/05/199521/10/198528/09/1989
Latvia10/02/199907/09/199312/06/201007/09/199301/07/2005
Lebanon01/09/2024
Liberia27/08/199427/08/1994
Libya15/09/200528/09/1976
liechtenstein01/09/199518/12/200914/07/193301/04/1980
Lithuania31/05/200108/07/199403/02/201222/05/199401/12/2004
luxembourg01/01/199530/04/197830/06/202207/10/1977
Macao - China01/01/1995
Madagascar17/11/199524/01/197821/12/1963
Malaysia01/01/199516/08/200601/01/1989
Malawi31/05/199524/01/197806/07/1964
Maldives31/05/1995
Mali31/05/199519/10/198401/03/1983
Malta01/01/199501/03/200720/10/196701/03/2007
Morocco01/01/199508/10/199930/07/2017
Mauritius01/01/199524/09/1976
Mauritania31/05/199513/04/198311/04/1965
Mexico01/01/199501/01/199507/09/2003
moldova26/07/200125/12/199128/04/2005
Monaco22/06/197929/04/195601/12/1991
Mongolia29/01/199727/05/199121/04/1985
Montenegro29/04/201203/06/200609/03/201203/06/2006
mozambique26/08/199518/05/200009/07/1998
Myanmar (Burma)01/01/1995
Namibia01/01/199501/01/200401/01/2004
Nepal23/04/200422/06/2001
Nicaragua03/09/199506/03/200303/07/1996
Niger13/12/199621/03/199305/07/1964
Nigeria01/01/199508/05/200528/04/200502/09/1963
Norway01/01/199501/01/198001/07/188501/01/2008
New Zealand01/01/199501/12/199229/07/1931
Oman09/11/200026/10/200116/10/200714/07/1999
Uganda01/01/199509/02/199514/06/1965
Uzbekistan25/12/199119/07/200625/12/1991
Pakistan01/01/199522/07/2004
Panama06/09/199707/09/201219/10/1996
Papua New Guinea09/06/199614/06/200315/05/1999
paraguay01/01/199528/05/1994
Netherlands01/01/199510/07/197927/12/201007/07/188407/10/1977
Peru01/01/199506/06/200911/04/1995
philippines01/01/199517/08/200127/09/1965
Poland01/01/199525/12/199010/11/201901/03/2004
Portugal01/01/199524/11/199207/07/198401/01/1992
Qatar13/01/199603/08/201105/07/2000
Syrian Arab Republic26/06/200301/09/2024
Central African Republic31/05/199524/01/197819/11/1963
Democratic Republic of Congo01/01/199731/01/1975
Dominican Republic09/03/199528/05/2007
Kyrgyz Republic20/12/1998
Lao People's Democratic Republic02/02/201314/06/200608/10/1998
Democratic People's Republic of Korea08/07/198010/06/1980
Slovak Republic01/01/199501/01/199301/01/1993
Czech republic01/01/199501/01/199301/07/2002
Romania01/01/199523/07/197928/04/200506/10/202001/03/2003
United Kingdom01/01/199524/01/197822/03/200607/07/188407/10/1977
Russia22/08/201229/03/197812/08/200901/07/1965
Rwanda22/05/199631/08/201101/03/1984
St. LUCIA01/01/199530/08/199609/06/1995
St. Kitts and Nevis21/02/199627/10/200509/04/1995
San Marino04/03/196001/07/2009
Holy See29/09/1960
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines01/01/199506/08/200229/08/1995
samoa10/05/201221/09/2013
Sao Tome and Principe03/07/200812/05/1998
Senegal01/01/199524/01/197821/12/1963
Serbia01/02/199720/08/201027/04/199201/10/2010
seychelles07/11/200207/11/2002
Sierra Leone23/07/199517/06/199717/06/1997
Singapore01/01/199523/02/199523/02/1995
Slovakia28/04/200501/07/2002
Slovenia30/07/199501/03/199428/04/200525/06/199101/12/2002
Sudan16/04/198416/04/1984
Sri Lanka01/01/199526/02/198229/12/1952
Sweden01/01/199517/05/197827/12/200701/07/188501/05/1978
Swiss01/01/199524/01/197801/07/200807/07/188407/10/1977
suriname01/01/199525/11/1975
swaziland01/01/199520/09/199412/05/1991
Tajikistan02/03/201325/12/199125/12/1991
Chinese Taipei01/01/2002
Tanzania01/01/199514/09/199916/06/1963
Chad19/10/199624/01/197819/11/1963
Thailand01/01/199524/12/200902/08/2008
Togo31/05/199524/01/197810/09/1967
tonga27/07/200714/06/2001
Trinidad and Tobago01/03/199510/03/199401/08/1964
Tunisia29/03/199510/12/200107/07/1884
Turkmenistan25/12/199125/12/1991
Turkey26/03/199501/01/199610/10/202501/11/2000
Ukraine16/05/200825/12/199128/04/200525/12/1991
European Union01/01/1995
Uruguay01/01/199518/03/1967
Vanuatu - Republic of24/08/2012
Venezuela - Bolivarian Republic of01/01/199512/09/1995
Viet Nam11/01/200710/03/199308/03/1969
Yemen15/02/2007
Zambia01/01/199515/11/200106/04/1965
Zimbabwe05/03/199511/06/199718/04/1980

Section 2.3. Same invention

A subsequent request D contains the same invention as the previous application DA if the person skilled in the art can "apprehend" the object claimed from the previous application (Cass. com. of 31 January 2012, No. 11-10924, Time sport c. Go Sport), ie to deduce the object claimed from the previous application:

In particular, the prior application must accurately disclose the claimed object, even if it were in the description or drawings (L612-7 CPIparagraph 4).

If an element is not present in the previous application, this element will not benefit from the priority (L612-7 CPIparagraph 3).

Section 2.4. 12 months from the first request

2.4.1. Generality

It is only possible to claim the priority of an application during a period of 12 months from the first application (A4.C.1 CUP).

It is possible to ask to be restored in its right to file under priority, if one can justify a legitimate excuse (L612-16-1 CPIparagraph 1). This request (as well as the filing under priority) must be made within a 2 months from the expiry of the priority period (L612-16-1 CPIparagraph 2 and 3). However, the technical preparations for publication of the earlier application should not be completed (L612-16-1 CPIparagraph 3).

2.4.2. Real first request

A first request seems to be a request that has been:

  • for the first time,
  • filed in a CUP party state or a WTO member,
  • and referring to the same invention as a subsequent application.

2.4.3. Fiction of first demand

1) Principle

By fiction, it is possible to consider that a subsequent request as "first request" (A4.C.4 CUP).

To do this, it is necessary to respect the conditions of theA4.C.4 CUP :

  • the subsequent application must:
    • have the same object that the previous application (true first request normally);
    • have been filed in the same state CUP or WTO that the previous application,
  • the earlier application must, on the filing date of the subsequent application,
    • have been withdrawn, abandoned or refused,
    • without being submitted topublic inspection
    • without leaving subsist rights,
    • that she not yet served basic for the claim the right of priority.

The earlier application can no longer be used as a basis for claiming the right of priority (A4.C.4 CUP).

Fiction of first demand for priority
Fiction of first demand for priority Fiction of first demand for priority

In this example, at the D2 filing date, there is no entitlement for D1 and D1 has not been used as a basis for another priority claim.

2) Not withdrawn, abandoned or refused

It may happen that the earlier application, on the date of filing of the subsequent application, has not been withdrawn, abandoned or refused.

In this case, the priority claim for the subsequent application is not valid.

3) Have been subject to public inspection

This public inspection may be, in particular:

  • publication under L612-21 CPI, 1 °;
  • the notification of the article L615-4 CPI to make its patent application effective in any dispute.
4) To leave rights

It is not very clear what rights are covered by this expression.

As mentioned in the European directives (F-VI 1.4.1 Directives), we can think of the rights that allow another application to benefit from the filing date of a subsequent application (outside the priority):

  • US "continuation" or "continuation-in-part";
  • divisionaries;
  • etc.
Leave a right
Leave a right Leave a right

In the case presented, the D1 request is a first request for A, B and C, while D2 is a first request for D.

Note that FR1 will be a L611-11 CPI, paragraph 2 for FR2 because of its publication (for A and B).

5) Previous application excluding UPC

If the previous application is filed outside the UPC / WTO, the previous application will not be a first request (because it will not have created a right of priority, the contrary would be contrary to the spirit of the CUP) and will therefore not interfere. not a priority claim of a subsequent application in a CUP / WTO country.

Earlier application in East Timor
Earlier application in East Timor Earlier application in East Timor
6) Not having served as a basis for a priority claim

The mere fact that an application has claimed the priority of the earlier application (even if no publication takes place) renders final the fact that the earlier application is a first application.

Prior priority claim
Prior priority claim Prior priority claim
7) Same applicant

If the applicant is not the same in the application (A4.C.4 CUP), things can be quite surprising.

In case of different applicants
In case of different applicants In case of different applicants

Section 2.5. Exhaustion of the right of priority

If for a time French jurisprudence considered that the right of priority could be exhausted (Cass. civ, July 18, 1934, JACOBSON / PAISSEAU), the concept of exhaustion of the right of priority is now rejected by the courts (Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance, 3rd c., 1st Sect. September 28, 2010).

(Note: in this last decision, the court is seized of a European patent but explicitly mentions the spirit of the Paris Convention with regard to the exhaustion of the right of priority).

Section 2.6. Claiming multiple priorities

It is quite possible to claim several priorities, even if they come from different states (L612-7 CPIparagraph 2).

Chapter 3. Priority "internal"

Section 3.1. Principle

CUP does not foresee the fact that one can claim the priority of an application in the same state (A4.A.1 CUP, “to deposit in other countries“).

Faced with this gap, the French legislator has provided for national provisions to benefit from the filing date of an earlier French application under certain conditions: this benefit is commonly called "internal priority".

An "internal priority" request may be submitted for a French application A (L612-3 CPI):

  • if another French application B (filed by the same applicant) was filed less than 12 months before;
  • if neither A nor B claims a "unionist" priority;
  • if B does not claim an "internal" priority of more than 12 months in relation to A;
  • if B is "publishable" (R612-25 CPI, 3 °).

The request must be presented during the deposit demand (R612-25 CPI, 1 °).

Section 3.2. First request?

Article L612-3 CPI does not provide that the application for which the benefit of the priority date is required is a first application.

Section 3.3. Withdrawal and publication

Requiring the benefit of the filing date of a French application results in its publication at 18 months, even though this request would have been withdrawne (R612-39 CPI, 5 °).

This is very important because this request can be used as prior art L611-11 CPI, paragraph 3.

Chapter 4. Translation of the priority document

The INPI may require a translation of the part of the priority document which contains the filing date and the number of the foreign application, as well as an indication of the State in which or for which this priority application has been filed (Order of 19 September 1979 on the procedure for filing patent applicationsArticle 20).

It does not seem that the INPI can ask for more.

Chapter 5. Formal requirements

See the filing requirements for more detail.

Chapter 6. Miscellaneous

Section 6.1. Date of a claim

6.1.1. Principle

The date of each claim is analyzed independently of each other.

If an FR application filed at t1 claims an object A and the priority filed at t0 contains object A, then claim A has an effective date t0 (L611-11 CPI, paragraph 2, and INPI Examination Guidelines, IC VII.4.A).

6.1.2. A and B

If an RF application filed at t2 claims an object "A and B" and the claim claims two priorities (A to t0 and B to t1), then claim "A and B" has an effective date t2 (filing date of the request FR).

This principle will most likely be an exception if the priority filed at t1 explicitly mentions the priority deposited at t0, indicating that the characteristics of the two documents can be combined in a particular way (inspired by F-VI 1.5 Guidelines).

6.1.3. A or B

The use of the word "or" is in fact a sign that the claim must be analyzed as two claims.

If an RF application filed at t2 claims an object "A or B" and that claim claims two priorities (A to t0 and B to t1), then claim "A or B" has two effective dates:

  • t1 for B;
  • t0 for A.

6.1.4. A and / or B

A claim "A and / or B" contains 3 objects "A", "B" and "A and B".

Section 6.2. Withdrawal / waiver of priority claim

It is entirely possible to waive or withdraw a priority (this principle, even if not provided for by the code, is derived from the possibility of total or partial withdrawal of the request of the article L613-24 CPI according to INPI Examination Guidelines, IB II.5.6).

Deadlines (only those not expired, INPI Examination Guidelines, IB II.5.6.b) are then recalculated as from the new effective date of the application.

In addition, publication is delayed if the withdrawal occurs before the technical preparations for publication begin (INPI Examination Guidelines, IB II.5.6.a).

Section 6.3. Claim of an invalid priority

Claiming a priority does not protect against the opposability of this priority demand.

In the following situation, the priority request FR1 is opposable under the article L611-11 CPI paragraph 3, against object A claimed by FR2 because the priority is not valid.

Priority may be L611-11 CPI, paragraph 3
Priority may be L611-11 CPI, paragraph 3 Priority may be L611-11 CPI, paragraph 3

Note that even if FR1 is withdrawn before publication, this will not change anything since requiring the benefit of the filing date of a French application results in its publication as a request (R612-39 CPI, 5 °).

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