Substantial Cost Reductions for Validating European Patents

The cost of obtaining patent protection in Europe is set to reduce significantly early next year thanks to the imminent implementation of the London Agreement.

At present a European patent application must be prosecuted before the European Patent Office in any one of the three official languages, English, French or German and, on grant, translations of the claims of the other two languages must be filed to be published with the specification as granted.

This procedure will remain as before. In order to validate the European patent in the designated states, it is necessary to file a translation of the entire specification in an official language of the national patent office.

With the implementation of the London Agreement, this will no longer be necessary in a number of countries. Instead, assuming that the application is in English, only the following translations will be required for the countries indicated which have signed the Agreement:

(a) United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Monaco:  No further translations required.

(b) Iceland, Latvia, Netherlands and Slovenia: These countries may require:

(i) a translation of the claims only into their national languages;

(ii) the entire specification to be available in one of English, French or German (most countries have opted for English).

Note:   Sweden and Denmark are expected to join the Agreement in the foreseeable future. Other countries may later.

Since the validation stage represents a large proportion of the total cost of obtaining a European patent, the implementation of the Agreement will result in major savings.

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  1. Meanwhile, the diplomatic courier carrying the French Government’s Instrument of Ratification has got lost on the trek to the German Foreign Ministry, a trek that began several weeks ago. The London Agreement can’t enter into effect till the French Instrument arrives. France takes its turn as EU Chairman in the second half of calendar 2008. Chairmen like to have chips to bargain with. I’m not betting on any early start date for the London Agreement.

  2. Yes, this is a big step for countries like India, as this will drastically save time in translating the documents, paying for the translators and thereby help speeding up, the filing of the application without any delay.

  3. hello..

    thanks 😉

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