European Patent Applications

Drafting a European patent application

The first step in getting protection for an invention is drafting a professional European patent application. This needs to have claims that define the scope of protection that you are requesting. Poorly drafted claims put the patent at risk—or worse, can render it worthless.

At Patenthuis, all patent applications are drafted by a Belgian and European patent attorney, who has completed specialised training and passed the required exams. Patenthuis can also take care of any drawings that may be needed in the patent application. We can make from scratch or base them on your own drawings. Belgian patent applications are usually drafted in Dutch. European patent applications are usually drafted 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 patent applications.

Filing a patent application in Europe

The filing date defines when the invention may be made publicly known without damaging your prospects of a grant. Until that date, any publication or publications made by the inventor/applicant are considered prior publications. These may severely damage the allowabilty of a patent application

European patent applications

A European patent application is usually filed at EPO – the European Patent Office, although other options are available.

When filing a European patent application, we must request an official novelty search must be requested. 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.

PCT patent applications

An international (PCT) patent application can also be filed. The fees for this are 3995€.

Please contact Patenthuis to discuss your optimal patent application approach. We are happy to schedule a consultation.

Results of the novelty search

We 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 and advice on the chances of your European patent application being granted.

European patent applications – Prosecution

Patenthuis handles the entire grant procedure for you, while consulting you throughout the process. The substantive part of the procedure typically involves several replies to objections from the examiner. This is usually spread over a period of several years. The various additional procedural requirements, such as deadlines and fees to be paid, are closely monitored by Patenthuis as well.

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)
  • taking care of payment of fees and making sure that all deadlines are met and monitored.

A European patent will only be granted if the examiner is satisfied that all legal requirements have been met. These legal requirements include the concept of novelty 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 15000 €.

Priority year

A critical date is one year after the first filing. This is the expiry of the priority year, established by the Paris Convention.

If you wish to seek protection in other countries than the first country of filing, you need to file patent applications in these other countries within the priority year.

Patenthuis will be happy to file a European patent application or a Belgian patent application based on your priority application filed elsewhere