Patent law

A patent is an Industrial Property right which confers on its proprietor the right to prohibit any unauthorised third party from reproducing the invention as defined in the claims. Novel inventions that involve an inventive step and are capable of industrial application can be patented in all technological fields. The duration of the protection conferred by a patent is 20 years, subject to the payment of annual fees.


Our mission is to provide you with guidance regarding, for example, searches of the prior art which are necessary for the assessment of the novelty and relevance of the invention, the drafting of the description and claims, filing procedures in France and overseas and opposition proceedings before the EPO, monitoring relating to patents filed by third parties, and the negotiation and drafting of your agreements regarding assignment, licensing, secrecy, confidentiality or know-how.

What is a patent?

A patent is a property right which protects a technical innovation. It grants an exclusive right to prohibit any use by a third party without the consent of the proprietor of the right.

It is a property right granted for a period of 20 years, though this can be extended by way of a Supplementary Protection Certificate in the case of medicinal products.

Patent law is governed by the French Intellectual Property Code in France, and by the European Patent Convention in Europe. The procedures for the grant of patents in France, in Europe and overseas are closely monitored by our consulting engineers so that we can offer our clients appropriate strategies for the management of their patent portfolios, from both technical and legal perspectives.

And, when the circumstances so require, our consulting engineers help with our clients’ cases for the purposes of patenting their invention in oral proceedings at the European Patent Office in The Hague, as well as in Munich, where LE GUEN & ASSOCIÉS has had a presence for 25 years.

Our approach to our profession

“Our approach to our profession is based on trust and openness. In particular, LE GUEN MAILLET patent engineers are not afraid to say when an invention appears to be devoid of novelty or significantly devoid of an inventive step vis-à-vis the prior art presented in the file (or on the basis of their knowledge of the prior art), or that the invention in question appears to fall outside the domain of that which is patentable as it currently stands.

In addition, LE GUEN MAILLET patent engineers are aware that the world of business and research sometimes requires action to be taken promptly (e.g. imminent disclosure), and that, upon certain clients’ requests, processing times that are much shorter than those mentioned above may prove to be imperative.”