Inventions deserve the best protection.
A European patent attorney is your best choice for protecting your inventions in Europe.
Protecting inventions in Europe is more than filing European patent applications within pre-determined deadlines and hoping for the best.
It’s about anticipating emerging markets and changes to your industry. It is about knowing how competition might affect your intellectual property rights moving forward. It’s about having a trusted advisor looking out for your IP investment for the long term. From determining a patent’s validity, to drafting claims, to legal advice regarding future infringement.
Belgian and European Patent Attorney services
Patenthuis represents clients at the Belgian Patent Office and European Patent Office for the following services.
- Drafting patent applications for filing at the European Patent Office or the national patent office in Belgium
- European patent prosecution
- European patent oppositions and appeal
- Euro-PCT applications: Handling the European phase of PCT patent applications.
- Providing legal opinions on the validity of a patent and related to infringement and avoidance of infringement
- Patent searches
- Post-grant services: European Patent translations and validations, payment of renewal fees
See our special fixed-price offer for handling Belgian patent applications.
When do you need a Belgian or European patent attorney?
In some cases you are legally obliged to use a patent attorney. This is the case if you want a patent application filed at the European Patent office and you live or have your business outside Europe. Similarly, if you don’t live or have your business in the EU, you need to be represented by a Belgian patent attorney for filing a patent application in Belgium.
European patent agent or patent attorney?
The common word in Europe for a patent professional is a European or national patent attorney. In most countries in Europe there is only one such type of professional representative. This is also the case at the European Patent Office. However, people from countries outside Europe sometimes use the word European patent agent.
Drafting a patent application
As first step in getting protection for an invention we draft a professional European or Belgian patent application. This needs to have claims that define the scope of protection that you are requesting, because poorly drafted claims put the patent at risk or reduce the value.
At Patenthuis, a Belgian and/or European patent attorney drafts all patent applications. A Belgian and European patent attorney has completed specialised training and passed the required exams. Patenthuis can also take care of any drawings that may be needed. We can make these from scratch or they can for instance be based on your own drawings. We usually draft a European patent application in English.
Fees for drafting Belgian or European patent applications are typically 3500 to 5500 €. This depends on the complexity of the patent application and the urgency.
Belgian Patent Law and the European Patent Convention do not provide for provisional applications.
Filing a patent application in Europe
The filing date is important. This determines when you may make the invention publicly known without damaging your prospects of a grant. Until that date, any publication or publications made by the inventor/applicant count as prior publications. These may severely damage the allowabilty of a patent application
European patent application
A European patent application is usually filed at EPO – the European Patent Office.
When filing a European patent application, we must request an official novelty search. The EPO performs this novelty search.
Patenthuis’ fees for filing a European patent application are 1995€. This price includes the official fees for filing and for the novelty search.
Results of the novelty search
We usually receive the results of the novelty search from the European Patent Office within 6 to 11 months. We then report these results back to you along with a brief analysis. You may then request further study of the novelty search,for an additional fee. This includes an analysis and advice regarding the chances of your European patent application being granted.
European patent applications – Prosecution
Patenthuis handles the entire grant procedure for you. We keep you informed of any progress and will clearly tell you when you need to make decisions concerning your application. In such cases we inform you of the advantages and disadvantages of the various choices.
The substantive part of the patent application procedure typically involves one to three replies to objections from the examiner. Usually this takes between one and three years. Of course we monitor the various additional procedural requirements closely as well. This concerns deadlines, renewal fees, etc.
Our services include:
- Consultation throughout the entire patent procedure.
- Replying to objections from the examiner (this often takes place over the course of several years).
- Ensuring payment of fees and meeting and monitoring of deadlines.
EPO will only grant a European patent if the examiner is satisfied that the application meets all legal requirements. These legal requirements include the novelty of the claims and the presence of an inventive step.
The course of the procedure differs between patent applications, as do the total costs. Typically, the procedure after the novelty search takes 18 to 60 months and costs 8000 to 12000€.
A critical date is one year after the first filin, because this is the expiry of the priority year, established by the Paris Convention.
If you wish to get protection in other countries than the country of first filing you need to file patent applications in these other countries within this priority year.
Patenthuis will be happy to file a European patent application or a Belgian patent application for you. This can be based on a priority application filed elsewhere.