Quick Navigation

 

Guide for applicants, Part 2: PCT procedure before the EPO (Euro-PCT Guide)

 
 
Contracting states to the PCT and the EPC
31
The states for which the EPC has entered into force most recently are San Marino (SM) on 1 July 2009, Albania (AL) on 1 May 2010 and Serbia (RS) on 1 October 2010. Hence on 1 January 2014 the EPC was in force in a total of 38 states[ 12 ]: Albania (AL), Austria (AT), Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), Croatia (HR), Cyprus (CY), Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Estonia (EE), Finland (FI), France (FR), Germany (DE), Greece (GR), Hungary (HU), Iceland (IS), Ireland (IE), Italy (IT), Latvia (LV), Liechtenstein (LI), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MK), Malta (MT), Monaco (MC), Netherlands (NL), Norway (NO), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), San Marino (SM), Serbia (RS), Slovakia (SK), Slovenia (SI), Spain (ES), Sweden (SE), Switzerland (CH), Turkey (TR) and United Kingdom (GB).
OJ 2009, 396
OJ 2010, 96
OJ 2010, 394
32
All EPC contracting states are also contracting states to the PCT and are bound by its Chapter II. The EPO can therefore act as designated and elected Office for any EPC contracting state provided the international application was filed on or after the date on which the EPC entered into force for the state concerned. This means that no European patent can be granted for an EPC contracting state on the basis of an international application filed prior to the date of entry into force of the EPC for that state.
33
For some EPC contracting states, patent protection on the basis of an international application can only be obtained via the European route, i.e. by entering the European phase to obtain a European patent for the state concerned, since these states have closed off the possibility of entering into the national phase before the national Office concerned (see point 121).
34
For information on "extension states", see points 122 ff.