French IP Office Accelerating Patent Examination
The French Institute for Industrial Property, INPI, recently announced a new accelerated patent grant system under which patent application or utility models can be granted within 20 months of filing. The accelerated system is open to anyone – unlike some other systems which only have special provisions for certain types of patents. It is also free of charge.
The request needs to be filed electronically within ten months of filing the application. In general the publication of the application will be brought forward and may occur less than the normal 18 months after filing. Should the patent search reveal highly relevant documents which lead to amendment of the patent application or observations be filed by third parties, then grant of the application will be delayed.
The accelerated grant system will probably be most useful to French applicants as the whole procedure will be in French. For startups and their investors, the accelerated grant system could be of great significance since the value and the uniqueness of the technology can be evaluated at an early stage in the procedure.
Further details – in French – can be found on INPI’s website here.