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London Agreement

A short introduction of the London Agreement

The London Agreement belongs to Article 65 of the European Patent Convention. This agreement is optional for member states while it aims to reduce the costs related to the translation of European patents. Negotiations about a cost-attractive translation system began in the 1990s and reached agreement on the Intergovernmental Conference of the European Patent Organisation in 1999.

Under the Agreement, any state having English, French or German as an official language shall dispense with the translation requirements. The affected states are Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Part of the Agreement concerns states which have an official language that is not English, French or German. The contracting states agreed that these states could also dispense with the translation requirements if the European patent has been granted in any of the official languages of the European Patent Office.

As for they, right to require a translation of the claims is accepted in one of their official languages. Nevertheless, the claims will always be available in the three EPO languages.

The Agreement did not have to be ratified by all member states of the European Patent Organisation, and entered into force after eight of the member states ratified it.

In July 2006, the Parliaments of ten states – Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Monaco, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom – had approved the Agreement. Seven states had deposited the instrument of ratification or accession.

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