IP teams of French companies can report to any of several different departments, led by law departments
A study conducted in 2009 by OPI, a French intellectual property consultancy, looked at the reporting position of intellectual property departments (patents, trademarks, designs and models). As summarized in 2010 Intelligence Report & Directory Series of Leaders League at 81, OPI found that 34.5 percent of the time in French companies that responded to its survey IP reports to the law department, 29 percent of the time to R&D, 11 percent to “Executive Management,” 7 percent to “Innovation,” 4 to “Valuation,” 1.5 to “Marketing,” and in 13 percent of the companies the IP group reported to two functions.
My consulting experience from this side of the Atlantic suggests that the chief IP lawyer much more often reports to the general counsel. Next in frequency would be R&D.