Conseil en propriété industrielle European Patent, Trademark & Design Attorney

Drawings–- Prior art search


Prior art search

Is your creation really novel?

A creation can be protected by a drawing or model if it is novel and has an individual character.

The Industrial Property Code stipulates that a drawing or model:

• is novel if “on the date of filing […] or on the claimed priority date, no identical drawing or model has been disclosed. Drawings or models are considered to be identical when their characteristics differ only by insignificant details”.

• has an individual character “when the overall impression that it gives to the trained observer differs from that produced by any drawing or model disclosed before the filing date […] or before the claimed priority date”.

Most of the Offices record drawings and models without checking these two criteria. A registered drawing or model can therefore be canceled a posteriori, and even infringe on a prior drawing or model. So, the main objective of a search beforehand for prior art is to compare your drawing or model with those registered beforehand in order to ensure you that your creation does indeed comply with the two conditions mentioned hereinabove, and that its use does not expose you to risks of infringement of a title from prior art.

Likewise, if a prior drawing and model is opposed to you by a third party in the framework of infringement proceedings, it is important to check the validity of this drawing and model. A prior art search is then recommended in order to try to detect the prior drawings and models that can cancel the title in question.


➢ You want to make sure that you can use your creation without the risk of infringement.
➢ You want to check the novelty and the individual character of your creation.
➢ You want to anticipate disputes.
➢ You need to improve your position, or weaken that of your opponent if you are challenged in terms of infringement.


➢ Before filing: we search for and analyze prior drawings and models that can affect the novelty and individual character of your creation.
➢ We anticipate disputes by searching for prior drawings and models that can hinder the use of your creation, and for which you would risk infringement proceedings.
➢ In case of dispute: we search for prior drawings and models that can invalidate or limit the scope of the competitor’s drawings and models for which you are the infringer.

Want to check if your creation is novel and has an individual character, or if you risk infringing on a prior drawing or model? Contact us!

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