After grant of a European patent, validation of the European patent is needed in the desired countries. The time period for validation is three months from grant. The patent rights are lost forever if this is not done on time.
The requirements for 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.
Validation of a European Patent in Belgium
In some countries in Europe, including Belgium, validation requires no formal acts. Nevertheless, it is recommended 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 requirements are strictly needed, the first critical date for the Belgian part of a European Patent is the first renewal fee date, not the three month period mentioned above. If you miss this payment date, you have a time period of six months to pay an extra fee.
So, even if no validations acts were done in Belgium for a granted European patent, patent rights are not lost. They can be restored 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 the validation of your European patent 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. Large savings are then possible 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.