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Foreign investors who are willing to develop a business in France must first obtain special licenses in France. These licenses are mainly related to the protection of intellectual property rights. At the same time, individual entrepreneurs must obtain special certificates related to safety and environmental protection.

You can find out briefly about the conditions for obtaining a French license by reading this material.

 What is a license agreement for?

The license agreement is used everywhere in various industries and areas of activity. This legal document applies to objects that have specific properties, the results of intellectual work, new technologies and even information. Nowadays, digital assets like apps are most often licensed. 

Licensing of intellectual property rights in France requires a license agreement. This document serves as permission granted the IPR owner, or the licensor, gives to someone who will use it. The one who applies it in accordance with the obtained permission is called the licensee. He must promptly pay for use, keep confidential information secret, strictly adhere to the standards and requirements that the licensor has set for his product. In addition, the licensee is obliged to promptly notify the IP owner of the detected violations.

 In strict accordance with the Code

The French Intellectual Property Code regulates obtaining French licenses for any kind of intellectual property. The term “license” is usually used for software, but you can also get a know-how license in France.

It doesn't matter if the license is national or international, the parties to the agreement can agree on the terms while respecting the rules of the Code, which are the same for everyone.


When concluding a license agreement in France, full factual information must be disclosed prior to signing the agreement.

If the registration of a trademark in France, or any other IP subject matter, is declared invalid, all licenses are automatically invalidated and the IPR owner is no longer entitled to collect royalties.

The licensee may demand compensation for losses if the TM expires before the end of the license agreement and if the licensor does not want to renew the TM.

Defend your patent rights

Patent license involves the right to make, sell, use, distribute the patented product. The peculiarity of the patent is its widespread effect, that is, there is no reference to any territory. If you are interested in obtaining a French patent license, please note that it must be drawn up in writing.

In France, as everywhere in the world, it may happen that know-how is stolen from the inventor. If a patent application has been filed for such an invention, then the injured party can go to court and demand the return of rights. To avoid such situations, it is advisable to formalize the exclusive right to use a patentable invention in France.

 Termination of licensing relations

Two situations should be distinguished if you decide to terminate a licensing agreement:

  1. If you plan to conclude a licensing agreement in France for a limited period, the agreement will not be terminated before it is expired, unless there have been cases of violation of the terms of the agreement. In case of early termination, the initiator will have to compensate for the damage to the other party;
  2. If the agreement is unlimited, it implies that either participant can stop it at any time, while not forgetting to promptly notify the other party about it.

Today, when the number of business insolvencies is growing, it is crucial to take effective steps to ensure that your IP license adequately protect your business assets in the event of termination.

 IP Dispute Resolution in France

French law allows resolving disputes through arbitration only by professionals. Dispute resolution can be referred to various local or international arbitration institutions. A party may initiate arbitration in France or any other place in the world, but it is a common practice that such arbitration is often held in Geneva.

The request for Arbitration shall be submitted in the language of the arbitration as agreed by the parties.

 Expert consultation

License agreement is a reliable pillar for business. Today, it is difficult to imagine a transfer of rights to a TM or patent or software without a corresponding document. When a company is going to use any intellectual product for the purpose of generating income, a license agreement is indispensable.

For comprehensive advice on licensing in France, or in case you need legal assistance in drawing up a licensing agreement in France, please contact the experienced IQ Decision UK specialists. Contacts are listed on the site.