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审查-Examination

Examination on formalities: The examination on formalities will be performed by French PatentOffice (INPI) before the application proceeds to search. The following aspects will be examined:形式审查:在进行检索之前,法国工业产权局会先行进行形式审查,审查方面如下:

- Formality requirements e.g. sufficiency of documents; 形式要求,例如是否缺失文件

- Lack of unity: the application should contain only one invention, or if several, they shouldbe linked and form into a group. The provision is consistent with the counterpart of EPC; 关于单一性的审查,申请应当只包括一项发明,或者为相互关联且形成一组的几项发明。这一规定与EPC 的相关规定类似

- Patentable nature: similar to the provision of EPC, programs for computers and businessmodels are not patentable; 可授予专利的内容。与EPC 的规定相似,计算机程序本身以及商业模式不能被授予专利

- Whether claims are fully supported by the specifications or whether there arecontradictions therein. 权利要求是否能够被说明书完全支持,或者二者之间是否存在冲突

Search: The applicant is required to pay the search fee upon filing or within a time limit of 1 month.The search report will be done by EPO instead of INPI and is identical with the EP applicationsearch report. Consequently, the search report with high value can be obtained with much lowerexpenses via this approach due to the subsidies supported by French government. The searchreport is usually received by the applicant within 9 months as of the filing date if the Frenchapplication has no priority claimed. If there is priority claimed, it takes longer time to receive thesearch report. After issuance of the search report, the applicant has 3 months' time limit torespond which is extendible for another 3 months. 检索:申请人应当在申请时或者申请日起一个月内缴纳检索费。检索报告将会由EPO 做出,而且该报告与欧洲专利申请的检索报告完全相同。因此,通过申请法国专利,申请人可以以较少的费用获取高质量的专利检索报告,原因在于法国政府对于法国专利申请提供了一定的补助措施。对于没有主张优先权的申请,检索报告通常在9 个月内做出。如果申请主张了优先权,则检索报告会较晚做出。在检索报告做出的3 个月内,申请人可以就相关审查意见进行答复,另外可以有3 个月的延期。

Note: According to Decree No. 2007-280 of French IP code, INPI may request the applicant, priorto the delivery of search report, to disclose the prior art cited in the synchronous proceedings inother countries when the application is filed with the claim of priority. 根据法国第2007-280 号知识产权法令,针对主张优先权的申请,法国工业产权局有权在检索报告做出之前,要求申请人披露在其他国家申请过程中已经发现的现有技术。

Substantive examination: INPI may reject the patent application based on the ground of lack ofnovelty, but it is not allowed to reject the application for the sake of lack of inventive step andsuch will lead to the easy granting of the application.实质审查:法国工业产权局可以依据专利缺乏新颖性拒绝授权,但不允许依据缺乏创造性拒绝授权,这也使得法国专利授权更加容易。