Novelty, inventive step, industrially applicable
A patent provides an exclusive legal right that allows the holder to protect innovative technical achievements that meet the patentability criteria as required by law. The invention must have novelty, an inventive step or part, and be industrially applicable. The exclusive legal right to the invention arises from the filing of a patent application with the INPI (L'Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle).
The submission of a patent application with the INPI gives the holder a monopoly
The submission of a patent application with the INPI gives the holder a monopoly on their invention, provided that they regularly exploit it either directly or indirectly (license) and pay annual maintenance fees (annuities) for a maximum period of 20 years. A patent that has been granted by the INPI allows its owner to prohibit third parties from manufacturing and selling identical or equivalent products (counterfeits).
Non-patentable inventions
Non-patentable inventions include: surgical or therapeutic treatment methods for humans or animals, diagnostic methods for humans or animals, animal breeds, inventions that violate public order or decency, and essential biological processes for the production of plants or animals and similar discoveries, as well as scientific theories and mathematical methods, aesthetic creations, designs, schemes, rules, and methods for the pursuit of intellectual activities, playing games, and conducting business, in addition to information presentations, as well as computer programs and software (so long as they are not part of an industrially applicable invention).
Numerous procedures exist for obtaining patents internationally…
Numerous procedures exist for obtaining patents internationally with priority given to those applied for within 12 months of the French application date. These procedures include: direct national filing in foreign countries, filing a European application with substantive examination procedures exploring the patentability of the invention for a group of European countries (see list), transformation of the European patent application into national patents, filing of an international application (PCT) with procedures involving a common position for a group of countries (see list), and transformation of the PCT application into national patents for substantive examination (patentability) in each of the designated countries.

The application

This is the prerequisite for protection.

An application is the first act of protection, and must also contain the invention’s protection strategy.

Learn more about the application


A patent provides both legal and economic protection throughout the life of the innovation.


A patent provides numerous benefits: it is a competitive advantage, a source of revenue, and represents future capital.