European Patent Application

Drafting a European patent application

As first step in getting protection for an invention we draft a professional European 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, all patent applications are drafted by a Belgian and European patent attorney. A 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 determines the point at which 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 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 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 always consult you when decisions need to be made. The substantive part of the procedure typically involves one to three replies to objections from the examiner. These are usually spread over a period of several years. The various additional procedural requirements are closely monitored by Patenthuis 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 that all deadlines are met and monitored.

A European patent will only be granted if the examiner, after careful examination of the patent application, 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 12000€.

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 get 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.