European route

European patents are granted for some or all of the contracting states to the European Patent Convention (EPC). They can also be extended to the current extension and validation states.

Filing options

There are a number of options for filing European patent applications.

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Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court

Applicants and owners will soon be able to enjoy their granted European patents with “unitary effect” – a single right in many countries.

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European Patent Guide

Advice for inventors and companies interested in filing a patent application with the EPO.

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National validation

Some EPC contracting states as well as extension and validation states require a translation of the granted patent in their language for validation purposes.

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Opponents have up to nine months after grant in which they can challenge a European patent by filing an opposition with the EPO.

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Extension/validation request

At the request of the applicant/owner, European patent applications and patents may be extended to or validated in third countries for which an extension or validation agreement has entered into force.

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Oral proceedings

Oral proceedings are a part of patent examination and opposition proceedings, and of cases before the Receiving Section and the Legal Division.

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Decisions taken by the Receiving Section, examining and opposition divisions or the Legal Division are appealable. Appeals are decided by independent boards of appeal.

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See also

Before you file an application, we recommend that you do a patent search to check whether your invention really is new.

Search for patents Search for a patent attorney in the database of professional representatives.