EPO Validation 101: Maximizing Efficiency of a Streamlined Process

IPFrontline.com

By Michael Sneddon, president & CEO, MultiLing

Protecting intellectual property in European countries can be simplified by filing a patent application through the European Patent Office (EPO). Yet, a patent grant from the EPO is only the first step in protecting an invention in European countries. The inventor also must file additional applications, referred to as “validations,” in the countries in which they want protection. This is where the process can get difficult, and, if you’re not careful, you can undo all the stress you thought you avoided by working through the EPO in the first place.

Inventors have a mere three months from EPO publication of the grant until they must file validations within European countries in which they are seeking protection. In this brief three-month period, the national validations must be accompanied – in all but a handful of countries – by translated patent claims or full patent specifications in an official language of the respective country. This time-consuming – and complex – EPO validation task can involve working with up to 40 different European agents, depending on the number of countries where validation is sought.

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