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What is intellectual property ?


Intellectual property (IP) refers to all rights to creations, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, names, titles, logos, images or design, etc...

Intellectual property rights protect the interests of their owners (inventors, depositors, etc.) by giving them exclusive ownership rights over their creations.

Several rights may coexist on the same creation. For example, a logo may be protected by copyright, but also by trademark law.

Intellectual property law is divided into two branches:

• industrial property (patents, trademarks, designs, geographical indications, plant varieties and topographies of semiconductor products);
• literary and artistic property (copyrights, neighboring rights, sui generis rights of producers of databases).

The legislative and regulatory framework applicable in this area is grouped in the Intellectual Property Code (IPC).



 
What content is eligible for copyright protection ?

Article L. 112-1 of the IPC stipulates that its provisions protect the rights of authors on all works of the mind, whatever their form, expression, merit or destination.

The works of the mind are not defined precisely by law. The Intellectual Property Code simply provides a non-exhaustive list of creations eligible for protection in Article L.112-2. Thus, the following contents are capable of protection:

• architectural and pictorial works (buildings, commissioning of works, etc.);
• logos;
• softwares;
• databases;
• studies and appraisals;
• photos and videos (images made or used by public persons, in particular in the context of their communication, illustration of websites or information brochures, photographs and video libraries of ministries, etc.);
• graphic creations (graphic charts, editorial content ...).