After grant of a European patent, you need a validation of the European patent in the desired countries. The time period for European patent validation is three months from grant. The patent rights are lost forever if this is not done on time.
The requirements for European patent validation are set by the laws of the countries themselves. Therefore, these requirements differ country by country and also depend on the language of the granted European patent. The most common demands are: filing a translation (either of the whole patent or only the claims), payment of a fee, and appointment of a local agent.
European Patent Validation in Belgium
In some countries in Europe, including Belgium, validation requires no formal acts. Nevertheless, we recommend to appoint a patent attorney as ‘address for service’. We can offer this service for Belgium for 199€.
Due to the fact that no formal acts are strictly needed, a European patent is always deemed to be validated in Belgium. This means that the first critical date for the Belgian part of a European Patent is the first renewal fee date. The three month period mentioned above is not relevant for Belgium. If you miss this payment date, you have a time period of six months to pay an extra fee.
So, even if you did no validation acts in Belgium for a granted European patent, you did not lose your rights. It is possible to restore them until at least six months after the grant date and in many cases even later. Please contact us for further details.
Validation of a European Patent in other countries
Patenthuis handles European patent validation in all EPC countries.
We can act as ‘address for service’ in Germany, France, The UK, Ireland and Luxembourg.
In other countries we handle the validation at low prices via a trusted network of agents. In particular for The Netherlands we can offer very good rates.
A note on the ‘Unitary Patent’
For many years, Europe has moved towards a Unitary Patent. This means that a single patent is valid for most countries of the European Union. This allows large savings on translations.
National patent validation will also remain an option for all countries. This will in fact remain the only option for EPC-countries who are not members of the EU.
In 2018 it seemed likely that this law would be ratified quickly. But due to several factors it is now, in 2020, unclear if this law will come into place at all.