If you are looking to search for a direct filing French matter, this link takes you to the patent search screen. I typically use the ‘Basic Search’ as I normally search by application number/publication number (i.e., application number). What I like most about the basic search criteria is the flexibility. For example, you can enter an application/publication number, or you could just enter the applicant. Both criteria for searching are acceptable and are quite handy if you have limited information.
Once you’ve entered the search criteria and clicked ‘Search’ next to the search text box, if the search was for a single matter, then the results take you directly to the patent profile page. If you have several results, a results listing appears instead. From there, click on the relevant matter, and the given patent profile page displays.
Note the French patent office, by default, provides results on several different databases. According to their page, ‘[y]ou can search for the French (FR) patent applications published from 1902 onwards, European (EP) and international PCT (WO) applications from 1978 onwards, and supplementary protection certificate (SPC) applications from 1993 onwards.’
This is incredibly useful if you’ve only been given an application number (with no filing type) and maybe another piece of information like title, filing date, or applicant. If the number entered is a direct French filing and an EP validated matter, both results are listed. As you can see in my example, there’s are EP validated, French direct, and PCT results when I entered the number ‘3016116.’
Whether you are navigating to the French patent office website from the European patent office or searching for a direct French patent, the patent profile displays the same applicable fields. Referring back to my example, I’m going to select the direct French filing matter.
The patent profile page has a listing of the bibliographic information starting with:
Regarding date formats, their format is YYYY-MM-DD. They also have a title at the top of the page and abstract which both remain in French even in the English webpage version. However, a quick webpage translation can alter that to English. The webpage also has a ‘Parties’ section including applicant, proprietor (owner), inventor and representative information.
The last section ‘Status in France’ begins with some information about when the preliminary search report was sent (note this date is the same as the publication date), any notes (in French but you can translate), and the grant date. If this is an EP validation matter, the publication date refers to when the EP matter was first published, and the grant date refers to when the EP matter was granted.
My favorite pieces of information regarding renewals are listed including last renewal fee date with amount, the number of the renewal fee and the next renewal fee. This allows me to not only see the previous annuity was paid but also confirm the next annuity date. They will also indicate if the patent has lapsed. This is a life saver when trying to confirm several matters’ annuities are up to date.
Towards the top of the profile, there is a ‘Documents’ tab. This may come in handy when a transferred-in matter doesn’t have any documents associated with the files. You can select several documents and download them to populate or supplement the files you already have. It also provides a nice, succinct timeline of the examination history if you are only looking for event dates.
Now you know my tips and tricks for navigating the French patent office website! I’m sure there are more. If you know of one I didn’t mention, please let us know or post on our LinkedIn page . If you found this valuable, we have some upcoming webinars that will cover the subject of patenting in different countries around the world. Black Hills IP hopes this content becomes a continuous flow of information that the IP community can rely and act on. We are the leaders in smarter IP data docketing.