A design infringement lawsuit can be brought by the recorded owner of the registered design whose rights have been infringed, or by the exclusive licensee duly recorded with the INPI, before either the criminal or civil courts.
The unauthorized use of a registered design constitutes infringement.
In assessing infringement, the French courts take into account the overall visual impression that the design created for the informed observer, setting aside insignificant differences.
French courts take the following into consideration when determining the amount of compensatory damages to award:
- The negative or detrimental economic consequences of infringement, including lost gains and losses suffered by the rights holder
- The moral harm suffered by the rights holder
- The profits earned by the infringer, including intellectual, tangible and promotional investments saved or not incurred by the infringer.
As forpatents and trademarks, as an alternative and on request of the registered design owner, the court can set the damages as a lump sum. The lump sum must be greater than the royalties that would have been owed if the infringer had sought a license. This amount is not exclusive of compensation for moral harm caused to the registered design owner.
Before the criminal courts, an infringer faces a fine of up to €300,000 (or €750,000 in certain circumstances) and imprisonment for up to 3 years (7 years in certain circumstances).
For Copyright-grounded remedies, see the Copyrights section.
Under the sui generis protection, the database producer can prevent extraction and/or re-utilization of the whole or of a substantial part of the database, evaluated qualitatively and/or quantitatively, of the content of that database. The database maker can also prevent repeated and systematic extraction or re-utilization of non-substantial parts of the database, when such operations exceed the normal conditions of use of the database.
Before the criminal court, an infringer face a fine of up to €300,000 (or €750,000 in certain circumstances) and imprisonment for up to 3 years (7 years in certain circumstances).