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European Patent Application

Updated:2018-5-14 15:17:30    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:202

European patent application is granted under the European Patent Convention. The European Patent Convention does not provide for either a provisional patent application (i.e. a type of application with reduced formality requirements for the purpose of obtaining a filing date, which must be converted to a regular application within 12 months of filing), nor for a utility model or petty patent (a patent right available in some countries which is of shorter duration than a regular patent; application not usually subject to substantive examination).

Approximately 150,000 patents per year are filed in Europe, and one half of them (75,000 per year) are filed by non-Europeans. With the coming unitary patent system expected to dramatically reduce the cost of national validations, we expect this number to increase rapidly.

The nature of a European Patent
The European Patent Convention (EPC) provides a centralized procedure for the filing, examination and grant of patents for the 38 EPC member states (including all 28 member states of the European Union).

The applicant can pursue patent protection in all 38 EPC countries through a single application, in English (or French or German), filed with the European Patent Organization (EPO).

In recent years, validation costs for several countries have been reduced under an agreement whereby some countries, notably France, Germany and the UK, dropped the translation requirement and several others relaxed their rules to require translation of the claims only.

Filing Requirements
The requirements to initiate a PCT Regional Phase filing before the European Patent Office (EPO) are:
1. PCT Number;
2. Priority Date;
3. Filing fee.

If the applicant provides item 1, we can normally retrieve a copy of the specification directly from WIPO. However, if the PCT application was published in a language other than English, French or German, we will also require a translation of the specification into English, French or German.

Note: Non-European applicants for European patents must be represented by a registered European patent attorney, who is the sole person authorized to correspond with the EPO about the pending application.

Deadlines for filing patent in Europe
Europe is an absolute novelty jurisdiction. Unlike in theUnited Sates, there is no grace period for disclosures madeby the inventor prior to the filing of the first patentapplication that discloses the invention. Thus the Europeanpatent – or the patent it claims priority from – must havebeen filed before the invention was disclosed by the inventor to the public anywhere in the world.

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