Co-Research And Development Made Easier With State-Owned Entities


The role of the sole agent of state-owned bodies (e.g. public universities, public hospitals,...) in situations of co-ownership of property resulting from research and development (R&D) has been extended in France. Law No. 2019-486 on growth and transformation of enterprises, i.e. "PACTE" Act, was adopted through its Decree No. 2020-14, on 13 January 2020

The Decree, applicable as from 16 January 2020, replaces prior legal framework and eases the exploitation by private organizations of such property developed by or co-developed with state-owned bodies.

When an invention is developed by a State agent, the relevant governing state body is in charge of the monetization of the invention in the private sector. The number of state-owned entities (e.g. several universities) involved in the development of such invention often complicates monetization.

In the past, a sole agent was appointed by the state-owned bodies on an invention-by-invention basis. This sole agent had limited powers: it was in charge of filing the sole priority patent application and, of its exploitation.

New provisions

The new provisions widen the scope of application beyond inventions to include any property arising from state-owned organizations' research missions. Technical knowledge, computer programs, protectable data bases, and protected know-how generated by their R&D can now be included as well as inventions.

Regarding the exploitation of the co-owned property arising from R&D involving several state-owned entities, the sole agent is appointed jointly by the state-owned parties for the management and monetization of any property developed. Any invention or other property generated by any employee's R&D shall be notified to the designated...

To continue reading