Since 2004, this territory was excluded of the French Intellectual Property Code. Consequently, owners of French IP rights were uncertain on a legal point of view as they could not claim their French rights to justify a protection in French Polynesia.
A law was voted on May 2013, and French industrial rights are now recognized on this territory under the following conditions:
– IP rights (namely patents, trademarks, models) filed before 3rd March 2004 are automatically recognized in French Polynesia, without complying any formality
– Rights filed between 3rd March 2004 and 31st August 2013 will be recognized, after fulfillment of a formality and payment of a fee before 1st September 2015.
– It will be possible to extend French rights filed as from 2014 to Polynesia.
Today, we are still uncertain regarding rights filed between 1st September and 31st December 2013 but it seems that we would be heading towards a system of recognition of French rights, like for those filed since 3rd March 2004.
It should be pointed out that, if Community designs now protect Polynesia, it is not the case for Community trademarks. Therefore, it can be necessary to complete IP portfolios and file French applications if Polynesia is a territory of interest.