What is the procedure for transferring a patent?

Once a patent has been registered with the Institut national de la propriété industrielle (INPI), it can be transferred to a third party. Who can transfer a patent? What is the procedure to follow? Find out all the answers.

The invention patent

The purpose of a patent is to protect a technical innovation, i.e. a product or process that responds to a given technical problem. A patent is granted only if the invention is new and involves an inventive step that is capable of industrial application.

To be patentable, the invention must not be expressly excluded from protection by law. Some inventions are not patentable, but may benefit from other types of protection, such as copyright or registered designs.

Conditions for transferring a patent

Before a patent can be leased, sold or incorporated, it must be published and entered in the national patent register. As of October 16, registration can now only be requested electronically, using a quick and easy tool that includes online help and a secure payment area.

Following this procedure, an acknowledgement of receipt is e-mailed to the applicant, together with the original numbered and electronically signed registration form. This should not be confused with patent registration, which involves publication in the Bulletin officiel de la propriété industrielle (BOPI).

How do I transfer a patent?

There are two main ways of transferring a patent.

The sale

The assignment of a patent is a legal act by which its owner(s) transfer ownership of the patent to one or more persons. The assignment may be total, in which case the assignor retains none of the prerogatives associated with the patent application or granted patent, or partial, in which case the assignment is restricted to a part of the territory, or to certain products or applications.

In the event of a transfer of ownership, it is important to report it as soon as possible by sending a request by post to INPI, enclosing a copy of the transfer contract signed by both parties.


A patent licensing contract enables the owner togrant a third party the right to exploit the patent, either in whole or in part, in return for remuneration (royalties).

A license is said to be total when the licensee is authorized to exploit the patent for all possible applications and for all modes of exploitation, or partial when the licensee is only authorized to exploit the patent for certain applications or modes of exploitation.

As in the case of assignment, the supporting document required to transfer a patent via licensing is a copy of the contract signed by both parties.

These procedures come at a price. A standard procedure costs 27 euros per patent, and an accelerated procedure 52 euros per patent.