Since March 2004, French Polynesia has an autonomous status and consequently the French IP rights had lost their validity. As remedy to this lack of protection, the Polynesian authorities have enacted a new regulation dated May 6, 2013 specifying the effects in French Polynesia of IP rights formerly acquired in France.
This new law concerns all French national IP rights, including trademarks, designs, and patents.
Here below is an overview of the provisions of the French Polynesian law and its consequences:
A) Automatic confirmation without any formality of the effects in Polynesia of the French titles of industrial property filed, renewed or extended with the French Office (INPI) before March 3, 2004.
The applications, renewals and extensions filed with the INPI before March 3, 2004 (and which have been subsequently registered) produce exactly the same effects in French Polynesia as on French territory without any formality to be observed.
- A French patent application filed in 2002, but published in 2005, will be automatically protected in French Polynesia.
- A French trademark filed in 1996 will be protected automatically and without any formality in French Polynesia for the period from 1996 to 2006.
However, if the mark was renewed in 2006 or later, protection is subject to the so-called Optional Recognition (see below B).
B) Recognition of optional effects in French Polynesia of industrial property titles filed, renewed or extended with the INPI between March 3, 2004 and January 31, 2014 (Optional Recognition).
If your industrial property right has been filed, renewed or extended during March 3, 2004 and January 31, 2014 and you require protection in French Polynesia, you must seek recognition of your title with the French Polynesian authorities.
- A trademark filed with the INPI in 1996 will be protected without any formality in French Polynesia until 2006. Conversely, if the mark was renewed in 2006, its protection in Polynesia for the period from 2006 to 2016 is subject to the mechanism of Optional Recognition.
- A design filed with the INPI in 2003 will be protected without any formality in French Polynesia until 2008. Conversely, if the design was extended in 2008 and further in 2013, its protection in Polynesia for the periods from 2008 to 2013 and from 2013 to 2018 reports to the mechanism of the Optional Recognition.
C) The Optional Recognition procedure
The applications for Optional Recognition in French Polynesia can be filed between September 1, 2013 and September 1, 2023. In order to apply, it is necessary to provide the following information and the payment of official fees:
- Registration number of the French IP title,
- Number and date of the official Bulletin in which the registrations and renewals have been advertised.
Consequently, if your French IP asset was filed, renewed or extended with the French INPI between March 3, 2004 and January 31, 2014 and you fail to apply for recognition in French Polynesia until September 1, 2023, you will lose IP protection in French Polynesia.
From February 1, 2014, any IP right filed or renewed with the French Office may be extended to French Polynesia upon payment of official fee.
We are at your disposal for any questions you may have about protecting your industrial property rights in French Polynesia and filing an application for recognition in French Polynesia of French IP rights concerned by the new regulation.
Phone: +352 276115-100