Patent Validation in Europe
I am Rolf Claessen, patent attorney and partner of Freischem & Partner in Cologne, Germany, and I am publishing a video about patents, trademarks and designs every Thursday. In this video I explain what patent validation in Europe is and why you do not automatically get a granted patent in each member state of the European Patent Convention (the EPC) after grant of the patent.
You have gone through the process of having a patent granted by the European Patent Office? Now what? What steps to take to get a valid patent in the desired countries in Europe? Do you need to appoint a representative? Do you need to file a translation? What are the costs for validation?
Patent protection in European countries is currently governed by national patent offices and national patent law. To convert a granted patent at the European Patent Office into such a national patent, several steps need to be taken. This is called patent validation.
Granted European Patents can not only be validated in the member states of the European Patent Convention but also in countries such as Morocco, the Republic of Moldova, Tunisia and Cambodia. Also, protection can be extended to countries such as Montenegro as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European Patent Office is in dialogue with more countries to join this patent system.
So here are the most important steps to take to validate a patent in one of these countries:
- In most countries you need to appoint a national representative within 3 months from the publication of the grant of the patent. Some countries like Great Britain, France and Germany also allow representatives from other member states of the EPC.
- At that time, most countries require a translation of the full patent specification and claims to be filed using this representative. Some countries like Great Britain, France and Germany completely waived the translation requirement. Other countries like the Netherlands, Denmark or Sweden only demand a translation of the claims into the national language and a translation of the description is only necessary, if the description is not in English.
What is the cost for this validation? In countries where a translation needs to be filed, the cost for translation is the major cost block. The cost for the representative is typically in the range from 100 to 500 EUR per country. And of course, annual renewal fees must be paid to the national offices.