European patent application




Release time:2016-05-12

Introduction to European Patent Application

European patents are granted for inventions of industrial utility, absolute novelty and inventive step. To date, the EPO has 34 member countries and four extension countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Macedonia and Serbia). With the accession of Norway and Croatia on 1 January 2008, EPO granted patents are in force in 38 European countries (including 34 contracting States and 4 extension countries).

• Information required for the application:

(1) the request;

2. Claims;

3. Instructions and drawings of the instructions (if any);

4. A summary of the instructions and the accompanying drawings of the summary (if any);

5. Power of attorney (signed or sealed by all applicants);

2. Application Process

1. The whole European patent takes time from application to authorization: 3-5 years

2. Application: The applicant may apply to the European Patent Office in one of the three official languages: English, French and German. About a month after the application is made, the European Commission will issue a notice.

3. Search by the European Patent Office: A search request and a search fee must be made at the time of submission of the application. About 2 years from the date of application, the search report issued by the European Patent Office was received, and a preliminary examination opinion on the patentability of the application was attached.

4. Publication of patent applications: European patents will publish patent applications 18 months from the filing date.

5. Request for substantive examination and substantive examination: The applicant shall submit a request for substantive examination at the same time as the application or within six months from the date of publication of the search report of the European Bureau. At the same time as the request for substantive examination, the specific member state shall be designated from the European member states and the examination fee and the designation fee shall be paid. If seven designation fees are paid, all States parties to the European Patent Treaty can be designated, but the designation fee for the extended country needs to be paid separately. After the substantive examination is submitted, the European patent application enters the actual examination procedure and usually receives the examination opinion of the European Patent Office within 1-3 years after the actual examination is submitted.

6. European patent authorization: When the examination is passed, the European Patent Office will issue a copy of the authorization notice. The applicant chooses to agree to the authorization text and allow the application to enter the authorization process, or to modify the text or claims according to his own will. Also pay the authorization fee and submit the translation of the claim in the other two languages. In addition, it is necessary to inquire whether a translation of the priority supporting document has been submitted. After the above work is completed, the European patent is officially granted and a certificate of authorization is issued.

6. Entry into force in European Member States

Generally, after receiving notification of the grant, the applicant must decide which country to enter into force from the list of designated countries and notify the European Patent Office in which countries the patent is effective.

After the effective country is determined, according to the regulations of each effective country, it is generally necessary to translate the entire content of the European patent into the language of that country and submit it to the effective country in order for the European patent to take effect in that country. Generally, European member states are required to complete the translation work within 3 months from the date of the authorization announcement and enter into force in each country. The nine months after the announcement is the period for disagreement. Therefore, if the applicant needs to be effective in many countries, it needs to prepare more fees.

After completing the work effective in different countries, the applicant has patents in different countries, they are independent of each other, and each item needs to pay an annual fee.

7. Term of validity: 20 years from the date of application

Flowchart of European patent application