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Archived updates for Monday, July 17, 2006

EPO President Predicts London Protocol Ratification

According to Huw Jones writing for Reuters on July 13, 2006, European Patent Office President Alain Pompidou expects ratification of the London Protocol Agreement before the May 2007 elections in France. So far, the Protocol has been ratified by 10 countries, including Britain and Germany, but France's endorsement is also needed.

As explained by Axel H Horns in his "IP Jur" blog:
If ratified, the Parties to the Agreement waive, entirely or largely, the requirement for translations of European patents to be filed in their national language. In practice this would cause that European patent proprietors will no
longer have to file a translation of the specification for patents granted for an EPC Contracting State Party to the London Agreement and having one of the three EPO languages as an official language. Where this is not the case, they
will be required to submit a full translation of the specification in the
national language only if the patent is not available in the EPO language
designated by the country concerned.
Under the current scheme, once a European patent is granted or more precisely within three months (or six months for Ireland) from the date of grant, the patent must be translated in an official language of each country in which the patentee wants patent protection. If the translation of the European is not provided to the national patent office within the prescribed time limit, the patent "shall be deemed to be void ab initio in that State" (Article 65 EPC). This current situation leads to high translation costs for patent holders, reduces the incentives to apply for a European patent and, many argues, the situation is a burden on the competitiveness of the European economy.

More on the London "Agreement dated 17 October 2000 on the application of Article 65 of the Convention on the Grant of European Patents" is available here.
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April 07, 2009 2:49 AM  

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