1.8
Contracting states to the PCT and the EPC 
1.8.001
On 1 January 2020 the EPC was in force in a total of 38 states: 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), Malta (MT), Monaco (MC), Netherlands (NL), North Macedonia (MK), 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). The EPC contracting states are shown in red on the map after point 1.8.004.
OJ 2009, 396
OJ 2010, 96, 394
1.8.002
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. For further information on the (dependent) territories of the EPC contracting states to which the PCT has been extended, see the Notice from the EPO published in OJ 2014, A33.
1.8.003
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 2.10.007).
1.8.004
European patents may also take effect in states other than EPC contracting states via a system of extension (in light grey on the map below) or validation (in blue on the map below). For information on extension states, see points 2.11.001 ff. For information on validation states, see points 2.12.001 ff.

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