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.
In 2018 a quick ratification appeared likely, but due to several factors it is now, in 2020, unclear if and when this legislation will be ratified.
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.