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Priority right (patent)

Definition : Priority right (patent)

Following the filing of a patent application with a member state of the Paris Union or the World Trade Organization (WTO) (for example, with the INPI), the applicant has a period of 12 months from this first filing to extend protection to another WTO member state while retaining the date of the initial filing.

Therefore, the right of priority in patent law is a legal principle that allows an inventor or applicant to seek international protection for their invention by relying on the filing date of an earlier application in another country.

Specifically, when the applicant files a patent application in a given country, he or she can claim priority for that application when filing a subsequent patent application in another country that is a member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. This priority means that the filing date of the first application is considered as the filing date of the subsequent application in the other country.

This enables the applicant to benefit from more extensive protection for his invention, while avoiding losing the priority of his initial application. The right of priority is generally valid for 12 months from the date of filing of the initial application, but the duration may vary according to national legislation.