A European patent can be obtained by filing a single European patent application in one of the official languages of the European Patent Office (EPO), i.e. English, French or German. A European Patent application is processed by the EPO in a unitary procedure, i.e. examination is done centrally for as many of the contracting states of the European Patent Convention (EPC) as the applicant cares to designate.
A granted European patent affords the same rights in the designated contracting states as a national patent granted in any of theses states. However, to obtain these rights, a granted European patent has to be validated in the designated contracting states, within a certain time limit, usually six months from the publication of the granted European patent. Validation in the contracting states usually entails filing a translation of the granted European patent with the national patent authority of the respective contracting state.
A European patent provides a number of advantages as it is a cost-effective and time-saving way of applying for patent protection in several different European countries.
KIPA assists during all phases of European patent applications and patents, including:
• filing, and prosecuting European patent applications,
• validating granted European patents throughout Europe, and
• oppositions and appeals before the EPO.