In France, trials in first instance for infringement disputes concerning French  designs take place before one of the ten First Instance Courts (“Tribunaux de Grande Instance”) declared competent in Intellectual Property case according to a decree of 2010.

These Courts are the First Instance Courts of Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nanterre, Nancy, Paris, Rennes, Strasbourg and Fort-de-France.

Generally, the choice of one of these Courts depends on the jurisdiction where the infringement has been committed or on the place of residence of the defendant.

The appeal in second instance of a decision issued by a First Instance Court has to be filed before a Court of Appeal. Several Courts of Appeal are competent in terms of Intellectual Property and the choice of one of them depends on the First Instance Court where the judgement took place.

The following table presents the repartition of these Courts contingents on the First Instance Courts.

First Instance Court Court of Appeal
Bordeaux Bordeaux
Lille Douai
Lyon Lyon
Marseille Aix-en-Provence
Nanterre Versailles
Nancy Nancy
Paris Paris
Rennes Rennes
Strasbourg Colmar
Fort-de-France Fort-de-France

These Courts of Appeal are also competent regarding appeals of decisions of the French Industrial Property Office (INPI).

 Lastly, a decision of a Court of Appeal can only be contested before the Supreme Court (“Cour de Cassation”) which is based in Paris.