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This is a key administrative unit in France. This comes up quite often indeed in that on French original patent documents in particular it is often the only location data given, for inventors located in France. Nations are usually all the data given for inventors located outside of France while filing with the French patent office. Hungarian data, when available, is quite reliable in terms of giving us the city. British data, when available, will almost always give us the most precise address data. It is rare to have the “département” mentioned on non-French patents. These data are cross-referenced depending on the order in which we find the variously national patents filed by the inventor in question.

“Département”, as applied to French colonial possessions, may lead to some ambiguity in terms of the administrative protocols.

The région is another, and greater, specific and official French administrative unit, also not to be confused with English region as we may use the word more generally. This will may become more pertinent as we home in on geographical data in the context of the social network analysis, or otherwise.

There were and are many others of course. These have been entered as they arise from our perusal of original patent documents, with various particulars being verified via French Wikipedia.