European Patent Validation
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 the grant date. You will lose your patent rights forever if you do not validate on time.
Each country sets the requirements for European patent validation (also known as EP validation) themself. Therefore, the European patent validation requirements differ between countries. They also depend on the language of the granted European patent, which can be English, German or French. The most common requirements are: filing a translation, payment of a fee, and appointment of a local agent.
Validation of a European Patent in Belgium
In some countries in Europe, including Belgium, EP validation requires no formal acts. European Patent Validation in Belgium is therefore not needed, it is automatic.
Nevertheless, it is possible to appoint a Belgian patent attorney as ‘address for service’. We can offer this service for Belgium for 199€.
Because no formal acts are needed a European patent is always deemed to be validated in Belgium. The three month period mentioned above is not relevant for Belgium. This means that the first critical date for the Belgian part of a European Patent is the first renewal fee date. If you miss this payment date, you have a time period of six months to pay an extra fee.
So, even if you forgot 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. 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. No formal validation would be necessary. This allows, of course, large savings on translations during EP validation.
However, this also implies some disadvantages, for instance in relation to patent annuities. It will be important to consider both pro’s and cons before deciding on a validation route.
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.