Getting in first: preliminary injunctions in France


Thierry Caen

The possibility of a preliminary injunction against patent infringement was introduced into French law in 1984, but the conditions for obtaining one have varied over time. Thierry Caen takes a look at the most recent changes.

The latest amendment is the result of the transposition of Directive 2004/48/CE on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights of April 29, 2004 into French law as Article L.615-3 of the IP Code.

The transposition introduced three changes to French law:

  • The possibility of obtaining a preliminary injunction upon petition without the alleged infringer expressing its position on the infringement;
  • The judge may order measures to forestall an imminent breach of patent rights, before any act of infringement has been committed; and
  • A preliminary injunction may be ordered when the patent holder is able to show that it is “likely” that its rights are infringed.

Injunction upon petition: rarely requested, rarely granted

preliminary injunctions, patent infringement