Protection in France by Copyright Law of an ornamental design created and disclosed abroad by a foreign person or company - Berne Convention


Ornamental designs can be protected in France not only by the Design Law (which requires filing) but also by the Copyright Law - Literary and Artistic Property Law (not requiring any filing).

If the foreign person or company is not titular of a French design registration, the protection in France by the Copyright Law will be given to him under the conditions of Berne Convention dated July 24, 1971 are complied with : The design of which a protection in France is claimed must be protected or can be protected under the same conditions in the country of origin, that is to say, it is necessary to demonstrate that the law of this country about the artistic property also protects the design under consideration. This proof has to be produced before the French Judge under the same conditions than a legal fact is produced. In the practice, this amounts to explain to the French Judge the foreign law and the application which could be made of it in the particular case. The better plan would be to add to the file of the proceedings before the Court an advice of a person being an authority in the foreign law. Under these conditions - and after having considered the other aspects of the file - action for infringement can be presented against supposed infringer(s). Such actions are of the ordinary competence (Commercial Courts of the place of the offence or of the registered office of one of the defendants).