EU Patent Validation

EU Patents Explained

An EU patent is not a worldwide patent. Foreign filing applications require validation in each country before you have protections in that country. 

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) allows inventors to file a single international application, deferring the need to decide which countries to seek protection in until later. This streamlined approach offers strategic flexibility and time to plan your patent protection with your attorney.

Once the European Patent Office (EPO) grants your patent, you can start applying for validation in the countries of your choice. 

There are three key components of European patent validations to remember:

1. Patent Validation Countries

EPO validation translation requirements will vary, but it typically involves translating the claims into a local language. To make it easier, some countries automatically accept EU patents written in English, German, or French. Others require inventors to translate the entire patent document into the native language. 

2. Patent Validation Deadlines

Once your patent is granted and published in the EU Patent Register, you have three months to apply for validation. Some countries have longer deadlines, including Iceland which extends it to four months. A handful of countries will extend the validation time limit for a fee. 

3. Patent Validation Fees

The most common EPO validation fees are:

  • Service fees: Payable to any professionals handling the validation
  • Filing fees: Payable to the local patent offices and usually based on the total number of pages
  • Translation fees: Payable to the professional completing the patent translation

Obviously, validation is free in countries where EU patents are automatically accepted. You may pay service fees for any professional or consultation service you use, but costs will be considerably cheaper than validating in a country requiring a full patent translation. 

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