Latest developments on the amended provisions of French law

The Law enacted on October 29, 2007, brought some changes to the Intellectual Property Code. This law puts the French system in compliance with European Directive dated April 9, 2004, and aims to increase the means to fight counterfeiting.

Some applicable deadlines and timing involved by the new provisions are however still missing. On February 11, 2008, the Paris Court of First Instance took position with regards to the new applicable deadline for bringing a Court action once a summary proceeding has been upheld.

Today’s amended provisions of the Intellectual Property Code provide that the plaintiff “is required to bring a Court action within a deadline which will be settled by implementation rules”. However, there has been, up to now, no implementation rule indicating such deadline.

So as to overcome this situation, the judge took into consideration article 9 of the 2004 European Directive which states that the deadline in concerns is limited to 20 open days or 31 civil days unless otherwise set up by national legal authorities.

In consideration with this timing alternative, the Court decided to rule a 20 open days timing for bringing the Court action since the ruling of the summary proceeding. Let’s remember that the earlier practice was rather to consider a closer timing : 10 or 15 open days.

This decision is well grounded. The decision is well grounded but constitutes the first one on this point. Only time and subsequent rulings will confirm the position.

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