A European Patent needs to be validated in the desired EPC member countries within three months of being granted. Protection can be irrecoverably lost if this is not done on time.
The requirements differ country by country, depending on the national laws of the countries concerned, and also depending on the language of the granted European patent. The most common requirements are filing a translation (either of the whole patent or only the claims), payment of a fee, and appointment of a national representative. Patenthuis can handle these administrative requirements for you.
A note on the ‘Unitary Patent’
For several years, there have been legal developments in Europe towards a Unitary Patent. This means that a single patent would then be valid for most countries of the European Union, whereby significant savings can be made on translations.
National patent validation will also remain an option for all countries. They will actually remain the only option for European Patent Convention signatory states who are not members of the EU.
It is likely that legislation relating to Unitary Patents will be ratified in 2018.
Anybody who believes a European patent was granted incorrectly, may filed opposition for a period of nine months following the grant.
The examination procedure is then repeated, considering arguments submitted by the opponent or opponents.
An opposition is a legal procedure having strict procedural requirements, often requiring a European patent to handle opposition proceedings.
If somebody opposes your patent and you need to defend yourself, or if you wish to file an opposition against a patent that you would like to be revoked, Patenthuis can conduct the procedure for you.
After an opposition, the losing party may appeal. We can conduct the appeal procedure as well.
For further information about opposition, please see the dedicated European patent opppostion website – Article 99, maintained by Patenthuis.
Services relating to opposition
- Preliminary evaluation of the chances of success.
- Literature search identifying ‘killer’ prior art.
- Filing ‘notice of opposition’ and ‘statement of grounds’
- Filing responses to communications from the EPO
- Conduct oral proceeding (which are held in nearly all oppositions)
- Monitoring deadlines
Renewal Fees payments
Renewal fees need to be paid annually in Europe, both before the patent is granted and after. If a renewal fee is not paid on time, the patent may be lost irrevocably.
At Patenthuis, we can monitor and arrange the payment of renewal fees for your patents to maintain them.