The Committees are an essential channel to deliver the mission of the CNCPI.
Providing real opportunities for exchange and reflection among the French Patent & Trademark Attorneys who attend, these Committees enable participants to develop and deepen the expertise of the CNCPI on strategic issues linked to intellectual property problems, both at national and international levels.
Today, there are twelve different Committees, overseeing multiple themes and expertise, enabling the CNCPI to work across a wide variety of issues.
ACTION IN REGIONS
The AER (Action In Regions) Committee, which has more than 50 active members, including 15 regional correspondents, is dedicated to developing and strengthening the presence of the CNCPI in the different regions where CPIs are located.
Meeting each trimester, this Committee centralizes the range of interventions and events in which the CPIs participate under the auspices of the CNCPI and facilitates the exchange of experiences between the different actors of IP (Intellectual Property).
In each region, a Regional Correspondent is appointed from among Committee members. This person coordinates the activities of CPIs in their region, and keeps the Board informed via the Committee Chair of events which may be of interest to the wider profession.
The Communication Committee organises and manages, in conjunction with the Chair and the Board of the CNCPI, the internal and external communication of the CNCPI. Their objective is to promote the CNCPI to both the CPIs and to the general public.
To achieve this, the Committee is tasked with:
- Developing and maintaining the internet site;
- Negotiating, creating and/or following the profile and visibility strategy of the CNCPI and promoting the profession in trade fairs and forums, on social networks, and on the internet in general;
- Managing media relations to obtain greater visibility for the profession (articles and interviews with the Chair and CPIs);
- Organising intellectual property events for the general public or CPIs;
- Developing and updating communication tools and materials ...
The Contracts Committee brings together attorneys with experience in negotiating and drafting agreements of all types aimed at protecting the assets of intellectual property and its ancillary activities.
Practitioners exchange information on their “best practices”, facilitating measures, obstacles encountered, the latest jurisprudence etc. Current issues are also debated and give rise to conferences (co)organised by the Committee.
The objective of the Contracts Committee is to raise awareness and recognition of the competencies of the consultants with regard to negotiation and drafting of both simple and complex agreements.
The Designs and Copyright Committee members meet on a monthly basis.
Supporting the CNCPI Board, the Designs and Copyright Committee prepares responses to consultations from the European Commission or IP Offices, particularly in view of legal reforms. The Committee also monitors national reform projects.
The Committee also endeavours to raise awareness of the legal means of protection of design by organising training and publicity.
FUTURE OF THE PROFESSION & DIGITAL DEVELOPMENTS
The Future of the Profession and Digital Developments Committee is concerned with all subjects relating to the development of the profession in the short, medium, and long term, and also reacts to current events.
Examples include, LegalTech companies and their influence on IP activities, digital developments which might interest the profession (smart contracts, blockchain, etc), legal evolutions such as the new business structures in which a CPI can operate (Sociétés Pluriprofessionelles d’Exercices - SPE), new services which CPIs may offer such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) etc.
IP EVALUATION & TAXATION
The IP Evaluation and Taxation Committee meets every alternate month to work on financial questions pertaining to IP, particularly:
- IP financing
- IP financial value
- IP taxation.
It especially monitors taxation issues and periodically distributes a selection of recent legal decisions with regard to taxation or economic importance likely to be of interest to CPIs regarding IP rights and IP firms. It informs CPIs of important legislative modifications affecting taxation and, when necessary, draws attention to the texts pertinent to the evaluation of IP rights.
The Committee supports CPIs when they are the subject of social or taxation verifications.
It also participates with the Board in examining governmental or international projects in the area of taxation as well as in standardisation particularly for the evaluation of the rights of IP.
The Patent Committee of the CNCPI meets monthly at the headquarters of the CNCPI.
The Committee carries out surveillance and analysis of legislative and jurisprudential evolutions, both national and international, relative to patents.
In this framework, the Patent Committee prepares responses to consultations and requests from INPI (French Patent and Trademark Office), EPO (European Patent Office, WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), ministries, or the European Commission. Examples include questions relating to the adaptation of French law according to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court, the harmonisation of patent law, or SPCs (Supplementary Protection Certificates). The Committee provides technical advice to the Board as requested.
The Patent Committee also organises meetings on topics such as “Requirements regarding national defence” or “The prescription of patent invalidity actions”, and participates in the organisation of CNCPI workshops.
PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND BEST PRACTICES
The Professional Ethics and Best Practices Committee is composed of twenty members and works closely with the Board. Its functions include:
- The preparation of practical information sheets analysing the principle rules of ethics and their implementation (conflicts of interest, advertising, transfer of files, secrecy, statements on invoices, social mandates, archiving…),
- Proposing updates for the Rules of Procedure
- Training in ethical rules in cooperation with the Training Committee
- Analysis of jurisprudential changes relative to ethical standards,
- Responding to all ethical questions posed by CPIs and the Board.
This Committee meets approximately every 2 months and is led by a co-presidency.
RELATIONS WITH IP OFFICES
This Committee deals with the mainstream work and professional practices. Its role is to keep abreast of current events in professional practice, especially related to the French Patent and Trademark Office (INPI).
It takes action either on its own initiative, or at the request of the Board, other committees or colleagues. If requested by a colleague, particular cases can be treated confidentially and these are usually handled by a co-chair.
The Relations with IP Offices Committee is also tasked with organising meetings, in French, with international and community Offices and with the participation INPI to keep CPIs and their collaborators informed in the areas of patents, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), and trademarks.
Each year, meetings are arranged:
- At the end of the first semester on current PCT topics and held in cooperation with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation), EPO (European Patent Office) and INPI (French Patent and Trademark Office)
- In the fall on the Classification of Nice, and on the Protocol of the Madrid Arrangement, held in cooperation with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation), EUIPO (European Intellectual Property Office) and INPI (French Patent and Trademark Office)
TRADEMARKS & GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS
The Trademark and Geographical Indications Committee facilitates reflection and discussion on developments in the relevant legislation and case law in France and internationally, as well as on the practice of attorneys relating to trademark law and protected geographical indications regulation.
It supports the activities of the CNCPI Board in these areas and is particularly involved in actions related to the entry into force of new French legal requirements concerning the “Trademark Package”. These changes substantially modify the practices of trademark attorneys. The Committee, thus works closely with the French Patent and Trademark Office (INPI) in the implementation of these new provisions.
The Committee is also oversees the partnership between the CNCPI and the Comité Champagne (CIVC).
TRAINING AND ACCESS TO THE PROFESSION
The Training and Access to the Profession Committee is in charge of all activities pertaining to the training of CPIs or future CPIs. It establishes the obligatory continuous training of CPIs and ensures the eligibility of the training sessions.
The Committee also organises information and training days for CPIs and interested parties in the field (e.g. lawyers) on current events (legislative modifications, counterfeiting, ethics…).
It is responsible for the organisation of round tables to help candidates prepare for the professional qualifying exams in trademarks, designs, and patents, in association with the French Association of In-house IP Specialists (ASPI) and the International Centre for IP Studies (CEIPI).
The Committee is also charged with raising student awareness of the profession of CPI in universities and engineering schools.
UNITARY PATENT AND UNIFIED PATENT COURT
The role of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) Committee is to support the implementation of the unitary patent system and unified patent court jurisdiction.
Their varied functions include participation in the work relating to the preparation and entry into effect of this new system, the dissemination of information to all of the CPIs (internal CNCPI letter, communiqués, etc.), and the implementation of a continuous ad hoc training program to prepare the profession for this major reform to patent law.