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European Patent

 

 

The European Patent is a regional patent that is jointly handled by the Munich-based European Patent Office and the member states where the patent was validated. The official application for the patent has to be filed either in English (ca. 75%), German (ca. 20%), or French (ca. 5 %) and is followed by an examination for formalities. A short assessment is attached to the search report which is obtained usually within a year from filing.

The application is generally published 18 months after its filing. Since the content of the application becomes public, no further claims can be added.

After the publication of the search report, a substantive examination has to be requested. In such case an examination fee, along with a designation fee have to be paid regardless of the number of the chosen countries. The yearly maintenance fee, due on the anniversary of the filing date, has to be paid in advance each year. The first fee is due 22-24 months after the application. There is a 50% extra fee when the maintenance fee is overdue. In case the fee is not paid at all, the procedure ends.

In light of the search report it is possible and sometimes indeed useful to amend the application before requesting a substantive examination. Furthermore, the EPO may also require changes or corrections. The patent is usually granted within 3-4 years from filing. The grant fee and the final version of the claims translated to all three official languages has to be paid and submitted during this period of time.

The validation request along with the required translation has to be submitted to the national offices within three months from the publication of the grant. This is the stage where Pintz & Partners LLC can help you with its EP validation service. You only need to select those countires where you would like to validate your EPO-granted European patent and give us some additional data (e.g. number of words of the description, claims, contact information). Every other step will be handled by our highly experienced patent office.   

The maintenance fee is payable to the national offices. Anyone can file an opposition within 9 months following the grant and, in a relatively expensive procedure, can try to prove the unpatentability of the invention. After the deadline revocation is possible only before the national offices and according to their national regulation. Legal remedy can be also requested but only when initiated separately in each country.

 

You will find more information about the procedure under How to get a European Patent?

 

 

Tags: european patent register, european patent convention, european patent bulletin, european patent attorney, european patent term, european patent law, european patent office fees, european patent office advanced search

 


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Procedure

General information

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Payment terms

«EUR 35-250/country»

National information, fees & costs

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