Legal force of qualified electronic timestamping compared to others

Only qualified electronic timestamping can be used to prove the anteriority of a file, as it benefits from a presumption of reliability as provided by law:

“A qualified electronic timestamp benefits from a presumption of accuracy for the date and time it indicates and of integrity for the data to which that date and time relate.” Article 41 of the eIDAS Regulation.

Thus, contrary to popular belief, other types of electronic timestamps (or electronic signatures of any kind) are not sufficient on their own to prove the anteriority of a certificate with a presumption of legal reliability.

Indeed, the vast majority of timestamps or electronic signatures are based on the time and date that are attached to the computer (the “atomic” time): in other words, they are easily falsifiable!

In contrast, with qualified electronic timestamping, this technical operation must be carried out by a specific and external timestamping authority, a qualified trust service provider registered on the European Union list. There are only a limited number of such providers and uses one of them.

That is the reason why always combines the electronic sealing of its certificates of anteriority or contracts exclusively with a qualified timestamp.

Other types of timestamps could easily be challenged in court. For this reason, it is necessary to entrust the proof of anteriority of your creations and documents to a professional specialising in intellectual property, such as