When a company or an inventor decides to protect an invention by a patent, the territorial scope of the protection is a fundamental question: “why going first for a protection in France when going directly to the international level is possible with the international conventions?”
Indeed, when a first patent application is filed in France, then a second patent application can be filed in another country within a 12-months period of the filing date of the first patent application, the second patent application filing will have the advantage to get the priority history of the first patent application. With that being said, it means that any publication by third parties, even by oneself, within this 12-months period, and any filing within this 12-months period will not invalidate the validity of the second filing in the second state. It is therefore not necessary to go directly at the international level.
Moreover, the French Patent Office provides a search report for anteriority and a patentability opinion around 9-months after the filing of the first French patent application (3 months before the expiration of the previously cited 12-months period). At this time, having the patentability opinion in hands, the inventor or company can decide whether or not to continue at the international level.
Lastly, for SME and physical person, tax reductions are granted by the French Patent Office, therefore it is cheaper to get a preliminary report of patentability using the French Patent Office services than filing directly an international patent application or in another country.
Mrs Sophie BELLON- European Patent Representative