One standard to rule them all? The new French standard NF X50-276-2 is the first proposal of format for electronic communications of PI data between the different actors including the offices.

The standard NF X50-276-2, and its explanatory note NF X50-276-1 were published at the beginning of February 2018. They aim at promoting exchanges between IP stakeholders: applicants, national offices, representatives, PI departments in companies, but also other players in the field (e.g. IP renewals provider). Accordingly, it proposes recommendations that allow the exchange of data thanks to coded flows having common structures.

All the useful data for all IP rights (patents, trademarks, designs, software ...) as well as contracts are coded. Tags are provided for a very large majority of cases or facts: among them the social form of the applicant or its nationality, further the internal references to the case, the applicable law, the fact that it is a divisional application for patents or the language of the technical field for brands, the procedural deadlines, and many more.

The standard also takes into account the financial and accounting follow-ups of IP portfolios.

Depending on the flows chosen, the data may be transferred, partially transferred, or updated automatically.

This standard is national only and has no foreign counterpart, so that the European industrial property offices (Euipo and Epo) will not necessarily have to follow the recommendations of this standard, which would lessen its impact.

However, this standard has the privilege of being the first on this subject and this pioneering position will perhaps make it the basis of possible future European or international standards.

The standard will be reviewed in 2023 to verify its quality and relevance; it will be the opportunity to appreciate its impact.