– confidence in an investment decision;
– identification of changes to make regarding an intellectual property right;
– assessment as to whether litigations against third parties are worthwhile;
– evaluation of the exploitation of intellectual property rights;
– checking the tools used in intellectual property.
- its content is protected by specific rules in accordance with the European Directive 96/9/CE transposed in France in the Intellectual Property Code;
- its form, meaning the choice or disposition of materials/elements, is protected by copyright.
Civil infringement proceedings is a legal action that may be instituted by the owner of a right attached to any creation qualifying for intellectual property rights (a work, a trademark, a design, but also a patent).
In trademark matters, counterfeiting acts cover all illegitimate infringements of the sole rights attained by the person entitled to the trademark. For instance, unless authorized by the owner: the reproduction, use or affixing of a mark, the use of a reproduced mark for goods or services that are identical to those designated in the registration or unless authorized by the owner, if there is a likelihood of confusion in the mind of the public; the reproduction, use or affixing of a mark or use of a reproduced mark for goods or services that are similar to those designated in the registration.
In literary or artistic works, the proceedings can be initiated by the owner of the rights attached to the allegedly counterfeited work or by the beneficiaries, or even by the Department of the Public Prosecutor. The author who has transferred his pecuniary rights still has the option to go to court on the grounds of his moral rights (right of paternity, right to the work integrity, right of disclosure), which are untransferable, imprescriptible and permanent.
The application for registration of a trademark is filed by the applicant or an Agent, either directly at the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle (INPI), or at the Commercial Court Registry (or the French First Instance Court in civil and criminal matters), within the jurisdiction of which the applicant is domiciled or has his business, the Commercial Court Registry transmitting the application to the INPI.
If the applicant or his head offices are established in a foreign country, he must elect domicile in France and appoint an Agent established in France.
Copyright protects original works. The original work is protected by its mere creation. Copyright can be divided into two series of prerogatives: moral rights and pecuniary rights.
The moral rights are attached to the author in person, and are, consequently, inalienable and not distrainable. It includes four distinct attributes:
- The right of disclosure: the discretionary and sole right of the author to decide if his work is in a condition to be presented to the public and, if so, to set the modality of its disclosure;
- The right of paternity: the author’s rights in respect to his name and capacity.
- The right of work integrity: the rights granted to the author to forbid any modification, mutilation, addition or change of the work.
- The right of withdrawal: the rights granted to the author to either take his work back and interrupt the contract, to improve, transform or redo his work, or to withdraw it, if he judges it unworthy of his talent or if the work no longer corresponds to his philosophical, scientific, moral or artistic ideas.
The concept of pecuniary rights covers the following:
- The copyright: the sole right given to the author to authorize the copy of his work. Considered a copy, it is the material fixing of a work by any process that allows an indirect communication to the public;
- The right of performing: the author’s decision to communicate the work to a given public, the public being or not being present at the place where the communication takes place;
- the right to follow property: it consists in allowing the artist to receive a percentage of the resale price in some categories of works.
The domain name is an address easy to remember to identify Internet operators. It is actually the correspondance in letters of the number attached to a computer connected to the Internet.
Two types of domain names exist:
- the gTLD (generic Top Level Domain): .com, .net, .org, etc. They are managed by registration services administrators authorized by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN);
- the ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain): .fr, .de, .etc. They are managed by the national bodies in charge of registration.