ONCE A EUROPEAN PATENT HAS BEEN GRANTED, IT IS NECESSARY TO “VALIDATE” AND MAINTAIN IT IN EACH COUNTRY IN WHICH PROTECTION IS REQUIRED
Once a patent has been granted by the European Patent Office (EPO), it needs to be validated in each EPC contracting state in which patent protection is needed. Validation is the process whereby the notational patent offices that have signed up to the European Patent Convention (EPC) recognise a patent granted by the EPO as being equivalent to a national patent granted by the respective patent office.
The validation process has been greatly simplified by the London Agreement 2000, which came into force on 1 May 2008. The London Agreement basically relaxed many of the translation requirements that used to make validating a patent an expensive process, and also relaxed the need, in many of the EPC contracting states, for patentees to appoint a local representative or “address for service”. Nowadays, validation in certain EPC contracting states has become virtually automatic, and, in fact, the UK Patent Office (UKIPO) even goes so far as to synchronise the UK Register of Patents with the EPO’s records so that, in principle, granted European patents automatically become United Kingdom patents.
WHY APPOINT AN ATTORNEY?
There are some idiosyncrasies that need to be checked, and it is therefore recommended to go through a formal validation process.
Firstly, and this is mainly an issue for patents that have been prosecuted in parallel via a number of routes (e.g. a direct UK application prosecuted in parallel with a Euro-
Secondly, renewal fees need to be properly monitored. The automatic validation of a UK patent is only effective until the next anniversary of the patent’s filing date. If renewal fees are not paid on-
Thirdly, in the event of post-
At Hutchinson IP, we offer a fixed-
COST OF EP(UK) VALIDATION:
Our fixed fee for validating a granted European patent in the UK is just £175 + VAT (for individuals and companies liable to UK VAT, currently at 20%, the total cost is just £210). This service includes checking the EP and UK registers, checking the renewal requirements and informing the UKIPO of any changes to the patent specification that may have occurred between the EPO’s notification of intent to grant and the publication of grant the European Patents Bulletin (EPB).
Further services that you might require to perfect the validation process may include:
Attending to payment of one or more renewal fees (read more);
Updating the UK Register of Patents to reflect a change of owner or licensee, for example, if the EP(UK) patent has been assigned or licensed to a different entity to the proprietor of the EP patent. Attending to this costs £250 + VAT, inclusive of the official fee (£290 including VAT); and/or
Correcting the UK Register of Patents to reflect a change of name or address, for example, if the proprietor of the EP patent has changed its name or address but the new details were not notified to the EPO prior to grant. Attending to this typically costs just £150 + VAT (£180 including VAT).
If we receive any post-
If you would like us to validate a European patent for you, then please contact us with your requirements or complete the enquiry form on the right of this page.
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