INFORMATION FROM THE EPO
Extension of European patents to Latvia and Lithuania
On 25 January 1994 in Munich the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) and the heads of the patent offices of Latvia and Lithuania signed agreements on far-reaching patent co-operation.
Of special importance for European industry are the agreements on extension of the effects of European patent applications and patents to Latvia and Lithuania: these provide a simple and cost-effective route to effective patent protection there. “Extended” European patents confer essentially the same protection in the two countries as those currently granted by the EPO for the 17 member states of the European Patent Organisation.
A similar agreement signed last year with Slovenia1 entered into force on 1 March 1994.
For Latvia and Lithuania, the extension agreements will probably take effect in mid-1994, once the necessary legislative and administrative arrangements have been made.
The EPO will also be co-operating intensively with the two national patent offices to help them develop the infrastructure for an effective patent system. In particular, it will provide training for their staff and the local patent profession, and assist the two offices in computerisation and in building up a patent information system.
For further details of the extension system, see OJ EPO 1994, 75.