What is inside a Soleau envelope ?
All types of documents can be included in an electronic Soleau envelope (texts, images, photographs, sketches, videos, musical creations, computer code, manuscripts, etc.). The INPI will then be able to certify that on that date you were indeed in possession of this work, creation or invention. This is an efficient way to give a date to documents and to make this proof known. For a company, this Soleau envelope can be a real asset. It allows to obtain quickly a proof to be presented during a conflict.
However, a Soleau envelope is only valid for 5 years (renewable once, i.e. 10 years), and only in France. It should also be noted that it is not transferable to a third party or a company and that the weight of the documents is limited to 300MB.
A Soleau envelope does not protect an invention from being copied. For that, you need to be the owner of a patent. Obtaining a patent is longer and more expensive than the electronic Soleau envelope, because it requires the drafting of a complex file and a registration procedure subject to examination.
This is why the Soleau envelope is an interesting solution, but it can in no way replace the filing of a patent.