Paris, June 3, 2019 - The PACTE Act for the Business Growth and Transformation Action Plan was published in the Official Journal on May 23, 2019 (Law No. 2019-486 of May 22, 2019). This text embodies the flagship economic reform of the government of Emmanuel Macron, led by the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire. Its primary objective is to improve the growth of small and medium-sized French businesses.
The final text, long debated in the National Assembly and the Senate, including with regard to the provisions concerning industrial property, includes 197 articles (221 articles of which 24 were repealed by the Constitutional Council's decision no. 219-781DC of May 16, 2019). The section "Protecting the inventions of our companies", in particular Articles 118, 121, 122 and 125 are of interest to us here as they concern the French Intellectual Property Code (hereinafter "IPC").
It is noteworthy that each of these four articles presents its own date of entry into force, given that for certain articles this date will of course coincide with that of the corresponding implementing measures.
Utility certificate: extension of the duration and possible transformation into a patent application (Art. 118)
Effective date: no later than May 23, 2020
In Article 118, the PACTE Act extends the duration of the utility certificate from 6 to 10 years (Article L. 611-2 IPC) and completes Article L. 612-15 IPC with a paragraph stipulating that:
"The applicant may transform his application for a utility certificate into a patent application, within a period and according to a procedure specified by regulation."
These provisions enter into force on the date of publication of the regulatory text provided for in the second paragraph of Article L. 612-15 IPC, and at the latest upon expiry of the twelfth month following the publication of this law, namely May 23, 2020.
Introduction of a new tool: an opposition procedure to French national patents issued by the INPI (Art. 121)
Effective date: that of the law to ratify an ordinance under article 121, with the ordinance to be made within a maximum period of 9 months from the enactment of the PACTE Act on May 22, 2019 (thus before February 22, 2020) and the ratification bill to be tabled in Parliament within 6 months of the publication of the ordinance.
Article 121 of the PACTE Act authorizes the Government to establish, by way of ordinance, measures falling within the scope of the law that are necessary to: