Thursday, 1 November 2007

The new French law on the enforcement of IP rights

L. n° 2007-1544, 29 October 2007: Official Journal 30 October 2007, p. 17775

The bill on the measures to fight infringement, which implements the Directives 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights and 98/44/EC of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions (see our commentary below ‘The French Senate voted a draft bill to implement the Directive on enforcement of IP rights’, also available at:, was published in the Official Journal (L. n° 2007-1544, 29 October 2007: Official Journal 30 October 2007, p. 17775).

The new law concerns designs, patents, semi-conductors, trademarks and copyright. This law reinforces the protection of intellectual property creations. It introduces accelerated and simplified procedures to bring matters before court, in particular in order to obtain summary orders against the alleged infringer or his intermediaries so as to prevent imminent acts of infringement or to stop such acts. The law also reinforces the measures that can be ordered against infringers, and improves the remedies that can be awarded.

Moreover, the law provides for a limited number of courts to specialise in the enforcement of intellectual property: litigation relating to the application of intellectual property rules may only be brought before specific High Courts of First Instance (‘Tribunaux de Grande Instance’). The text provides that a Decree will set out these courts.

It should also be noted that the legislator reinforces the penal sanctions incurred where the acts of infringement concern products that are dangerous for the health and security of mankind and animals.

Finally, the law sanctions any violation of intellectual property rights, whether they are carried out on a commercial scale or not.