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Right of prior possession

Definition : Right of prior possession

The person who discovered the Invention past the filing of a Patent, but without ever having disclosed it, has a right of prior personal possession authorizing him to continue enjoying his invention if it is filed by a third party. All he has to do is prove that this possession satisfies two conditions. Firstly, the possession must relate to a precise and complete invention, and secondly, it must be identical to that which is the subject of the subsequent filing. Thus, for a natural or legal person, possession of an invention on French territory prior to the date of filing of the patent application or patent filed by a third party gives that person the right to continue to exploit the invention, despite the patent application or patent filed by the third party. This exception to the patentee's right is governed by article L. 613-7 of the French Intellectual Property Code.