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.