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Guide for applicants, Part 1: How to get a European patent

 
 
III.
Relationship to other international conventions 
7
The EPC constitutes a special agreement within the meaning of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. 
This means in particular that the principles of the Paris Convention on claiming priority and the national treatment principle also apply in the European procedure and to European applications.  
Since nearly all the contracting states of the EPC are members of the WTO, the relevant provisions of the TRIPS Agreement (Agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights) are implemented in the revised EPC. 
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The EPC further constitutes a regional patent treaty within the meaning of Article 45(1) PCT, which means that European patents can be granted on the basis of an international application filed under the PCT. The Euro-PCT Guide (Part 2 of the present Guide, "Euro-PCT") deals with this filing route. It can be obtained free of charge from the EPO at all sites or downloaded from the EPO website (www.epo.org).
8a
The Agreement on the application of Article 65 EPC – the London Agreement – is an optional agreement aiming at reducing the costs relating to the translation of European patents. The EPC contracting states which have ratified or acceded to the Agreement undertake to waive, entirely or largely, the requirement for translations of European patents. For more information, please consult the EPO website (www.epo.org).
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The future "European patent with unitary effect" will be based on a European patent granted by the EPO under the rules and procedures laid down in the EPC. After grant of the European patent - but no later than one month after the mention of grant is published in the European Patent Bulletin - the patent proprietor will have the new option to file at the EPO a request for unitary effect if he wishes to obtain unitary patent protection in the 25 EU Member States participating in the project. The EPO will:  
- examine these requests and register unitary effect,
- set up and administer a new "Register for unitary patent protection" and
- collect renewal fees for European patents with unitary effect.
These new tasks will be carried out by the EPO under new rules which will implement Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (see http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:361:0001:0008:EN:PDF or http://www.epo.org/law-practice/unitary/unitary-patent.html).
The new European patent with unitary effect will not become available until the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court enters into force (see http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/12/st16/st16351.en12.pdf). Thirteen Member States, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom, must ratify this Agreement before it can enter into force.