PROTECTION OF INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY IN FRENCH POLYNESIA: NEW LEGISLATION
The enactment of organic law N°2004-197 of February 27, 2004 conferred jurisdiction to French Polynesia in industrial property.
Article LP 138 of the law of the country N°2013-14 of May 6, 2013 and the Ministerial Order N°1002/CM of July 22, 2013 have established the principle and the procedures of recognition of industrial property rights filed with the French Patent and Trademark Office (INPI) on the Polynesian territory (comprising Tahiti, Moorea, Bora-Bora, Marquesas Islands...)
This law does not apply to the other French overseas departments, namely: New Caledonia and Dependencies, Southern and Antarctic French Territories, Wallis and Futuna, Mayotte, the Island of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Saint-Barthelemy, the Islands of Saint-Martin and of Clipperton, which are still protected by a French registration.
This principle of recognition concerns any intellectual property rights including patents, trademarks, designs, utility certificates and topography of semi-conductor products.
These rights are protected in French Polynesia in the same terms as in mainland France under condition that the rights have been conferred by the INPI and are still in effect.
Concerning the implementation of these new measures, the following distinction needs to be made:
- Applications filed with the INPI before March 3, 2004 will benefit of an automatic recognition, without any formality.
- Applications filed with the INPI between March 3, 2004 and August 31, 2013 will benefit of a conditional recognition. Indeed, by the payment of a fee to the Directorate-General for Economic Affairs, the rights owners have the possibility of filing a request for recognition until September 1, 2015. Those requests shall be approved by a Presidential order in French Polynesia and must be published in the Official Journal.
- Applications filed with the INPI from September 1, 2013, are not governed by the new legislation. However, a reflexion is ongoing between the INPI and the French Polynesia. They are working together on developing an extension agreement which will allow applicants to ask for an extension of protection of their rights to French Polynesia, at the time of a filing or a renewal at INPI.
LAVOIX will not fail to keep you updated, and remains at your disposal should you need any further information.
Trademark Contact : Isabelle ALLAIS
Patent Contact: Isabelle HAY