The French Patent & Trademark Office (the INPI announced on 16 December 2016 the launch of the electronic version of the 'Soleau envelope' (the 'e-Soleau'). This innovation makes it now possible to establish directly on the INPI website, at any time evidence of any creation, concept or invention and to benefit from secure archiving having probative value, at limited cost.
In a press release dated 16 December 2016, the French National Institute of Industrial Property ( theINPI) announced the launch of the electronic version of the 'Soleau envelope' (the so-called 'e-Soleau').
This innovation makes it possible to establish directly online on the INPI website, and at any time evidence of the date of any creation, concept or invention and to benefit from a secure archive having probative value.
The Soleau envelope, until now available in paper form only, is a relatively simple and inexpensive means of proof, allowing for the protection of a creation and giving an accurate date to a project or an idea. In the event of a dispute, the Soleau envelope can be disclosed before the relevant court. It does not, however, constitute a form of Intellectual Property Right.
In practice, use of the Soleau envelope mainly covers:
Copyright (literary works, musical works, graphic designs, visual arts, fashion designs, other creations, software). To the extent that there is no filing for copyright, the Soleau envelope makes it possible to date a creation with certainty Neighboring rights related to copyright (performers, producers of videograms and phonograms). The protection of an idea or project (business or service concepts) The protection of an invention (making it possible to safeguard secrecy and establish the date of an invention before the filing of a potential patent application or to protect research work from possible indiscretions or against the possibility of claiming in France a right based on prior possession) The filing requirements for the e-Soleau envelope are set out in detail in Decision No. 2016-273 dated 13 December 2016 of the Director General of the INPI (link to INPI's explanatory page: inpi.fr).