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Archived updates for Monday, March 21, 2005

UK Proposes Tentative Rules on Postponing Translations

The UK Patent Offivce has isssued a Guidance Note explaining changes to UK patent law, made by the Patents (Translations) Rules 2005, regarding the filing of translations upon grant of a European patent application, designating the UK and having been filed in French or German. The changes will affect any patent applicant or agent who wishes to maintain protection in the UK for a granted European patent, filed and prosecuted before the EPO in either French or German.

Currently, an applicant who receives a granted European patent in either French or German and wants to obtain protection within the UK is required after grant by the EPO to file a translation with the UK Patent Office within three months. The Agreement on Translations will enter into force three months after the Agreement has been ratified by eight states, including specifically the UK, France and Germany as the three states in which the most European patents were granted. After the appointed day, a patent application in French or German granted by the European patent office and designating the UK, will have legal effect in the UK in the same way as a patent granted in English. However, during court proceedings, or in proceedings before the comptroller, the rules of procedure may require that a translation will be required. Before the appointed day, the Patents (Translations) Rules 2005 have no effect, and applicants will continue to need to file translations under section 77(6) if they wish to have patent protection in the UK.

Further information on the Agreement on Translations is available, via this website.
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