After grant of a European patent you need to validate the European patent in the desired countries. This is called EP validation or European patent validation.
The time period for European patent validation is three months from grant. You lose your patent rights forever if this is not done on time.
Each country sets the requirements for European patent validation (also known as EP validation) themself. Therefore, these requirements differ between countries and also depend on the language of the granted European patent. The most common are: filing a translation (whole patent or claims only), payment of a fee, and appointment of a local agent.
European Patent Validation in Belgium
In some countries in Europe, including Belgium, EP validation requires no formal acts. Nevertheless, it is possible 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.
EP Validation in other countries
Patenthuis handles European patent validation in all EPC countries.
In other countries than Belgium we handle the EP 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, of course, large savings on translations during EP validation.
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. Now, in 2022, it appears that this law may be in place somewhere in 2023.