Update Sep 28, 2022:
The utility certificate has the same effects as the patent except for its maximum duration of 6 years instead of 20 for the patent (subject to payment of annuities each year), it cannot be transformed into a patent.
Its delivery is easier than that of the patent because its conditions of obtaining are lighter. At this stage, a search report on prior art likely to invalidate the title is not required.
The PACTE bill should encourage it by proposing a duration of 10 years and its possibility of transformation into a patent:
Only 21% of invention patents are filed by SMEs, while 57% of invention patents are filed by large groups.
French SMEs file 4 times fewer patents than German SMEs.
Create a provisional patent application and an opposition procedure before the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI)
Creation – by decree – of a provisional patent application limited to 12 months: this is a “first step” of access to the patent that is both simplified and at a reduced cost for SMEs. The patent application may be supplemented subsequently, while preserving the benefit of prior art.
Creation of a new opposition procedure before the INPI: a simpler alternative to the only legal recourse existing today and allowing to attack at a lower cost patents of low quality, in particular devoid of inventiveness.
Extension of the utility certificate from 6 to 10 years: it can be transformed into a patent application if the company's invention requires stronger protection. The company will thus be able to choose the title which best corresponds to its strategy, in terms of scope of protection, duration of obtaining and cost.