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The Soleau Envelope, named after his creator Eugene Soleau, which was invented in 1910, allows you to establish proof of possession at a particular date. In its "modern" form set up by the INPI, the Soleau Envelope is a paper envelope whose content, description of the elements which must be dated, is limited to about 7 sheets (in A4 format) of paper (only).

The Soleau Envelope is only a means among others, to establish a proof of possession.


Since December 15, 2016, the I.N.P.I. has entered in the digital age, and offers an e-Soleau in its E-PROCEDURES area.


What does it serve ? :

The e-Soleau online filing service has the same objectives as the Envelope invented by Eugene Soleau.

It allows you to establish a proof of possession of information on a given date. This information may in particular correspond to one of your creations, but is not limited to this case only. This can be for example:


  • A business or service concept (e.g. delivery of meals at home, shop online...)
  • A new object (e.g. object connected...)
  • The processes, methods of manufacture (e.g. a new cooking recipe, a step of manufacturing a product, improving an existing process...)
  • An artistic creation (e.g. a book scenario, a logo, a picture, a shape, etc.)


The electronic Soleau Envelope, as well as its paper form, can be used as an element of proof of possession, for example, if you were supposed to engage an action for the purpose to make recognition your quality of author or inventor, or to seek recognition of a right of prior personal possession.

It should be noted that the Soleau Envelope is not an intellectual protection and does not create any exclusive right on a creation. It is only a tool in the context of the recognition of paternity of an existing or to be created Intellectual Property right.

Remember that the copyright protects literary works, musical, graphic and plastic creations, but also the software, the creations of applied art, the creations of fashion... and that the rights of Patent, Designs and Trademark are acquired through a deposit in order to obtain a title of Industrial Property.

How to do it?

Via the online service (E-PROCEDURES) and by accessing the e-Soleau service.

During the creation of the proof of personal possession, it must be kept in mind that the date of possession will be the date recorded by the INPI, and that the content of the possession will be determined by the content deposited in the Soleau Envelope, the electronic version cannot be distinguished on these two points of the paper version.

It is, therefore, the contents of the Envelope Soleau that will determine the scope of what can be claimed as a personal possession, hence the importance that must be given to the technical or non-technical descriptions, the reproductions, the origins of these data, and any other element that may be important, or even decisive, if the Soleau Envelope must be used.

In the event of a legal challenge, the production of the electronic Soleau Envelope is required by the president of the court seized of the proceeding. The user himself must request the restitution of its electronic Soleau envelope.


File sizes

The advantages of the electronic version, in addition to the immediacy of the online processing, reside primarily in the volume of the documents submitted, which is no longer constrained by the 7 sheets of the paper version, but remains limited.

You can deposit up to 3 files in an e-Soleau envelope. Each file cannot exceed 100 MB, and all files cannot exceed 300 MB.



The formats are varied:

  • text (.txt, .pdf, .zip…);
  • image (.gif, .jpg, .tiff, .png…);
  • sound (.mp3, .mp4, .wav, .flac…);
  • video (.mp4, .mkv, .mpg, .dv…).



The tariff is € 15 for 10 MB, then € 10/10 MB extra, which represents a total tax of € 305 for the maximum capacity. The payment is possible by credit card or from a customer account.


Date of deposit - deadline

The receipt seals the date of deposit of the electronic Soleau Envelope. The receipt is to be given after the fee deposit. It is available for 15 days from the date of deposit.

The I.N.P.I. retains the electronic Soleau Envelope for a period of 5 years. This period can be extended only once. It can be requested immediately at the time of deposit. The maximum retention period is 10 years.



At any time of the retention period, the user can request the restitution of the electronic Soleau Envelope through the E-Procedures area of the I.N.P.I. This formality is free of charge for the first three requests. Beyond three requests, a payment is required (€ 10).

Other tools of creation of proof of possession by electronic means have been implemented since several years by the IPSIDE Firm. These tools remain interesting in some cases, in particular when the capabilities proposed by the e-Soleau service appear insufficient. For more information on e-Soleau and other creation solutions, please contact us!




Council in Intellectual Property


Source: decision No. 2016-273 of the INPI

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