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The European Patent Convention (EPC) adopted after the 1973 Munich Conference was manifested in an international treaty to which Spain gained accession in October 1986. From then onwards, any natural or legal person in Spain can file for a European patent.

patente europea

It was from said Convention that the European Patent Organization, the result of the collective will of the member states to establish a uniform patent system for Europe, took shape. Later, with the rise of the European Union, things were made even easier.

The European Patent Office is in charge of the prosecution and grant of each application. However, in Spain, European patents can also be filed through the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM).

derecho de patente

Points to be taken into account in relation to rights

It is important to highlight some aspects concerning who may have access to the rights conferred by a European patent in very specific cases such as the following:

  • Several applicants can jointly file an application together.
  • The right of a European patent belongs to the inventor him/herself or to his/her assigns, if any. If the inventor is the employer of the applicant, the legislation of the State in which the employee performs his/her activity shall be applied.
  • If more than one person comes up with one and the same invention in a completely independent manner, the right shall always belong to the person who filed the application first, provided that no publication has been made.

Why might it be interesting to obtain a European patent?

If we are looking to market a product outside the Spanish borders, i.e., within the European territory, a European patent will greatly facilitate and streamline the task. Competing companies will be prevented from introducing their product in certain strategic locations. Obtaining a monopoly over a product in a country is a clear competitive advantage, and in order to do that, it is important to break down all existing bureaucratic or administrative barriers. Furthermore, we can feel secure in that no one will be able to take advantage of a proprietary invention.

Requirements for the grant of patents

Basically, there are three requirements to obtain a patent: that they have industrial application (industrial designs), that they involve an inventive activity (inventions) and that they involve a technical or technological innovation. In this way, in the Patent Law, computer programs or software are left aside, for example. However, you can resort to Intellectual Property to protect this type of invention.

European patent application

A European patent application can be filed electronically, in person, by mail or by fax. Where? Presenting yourself in person or sending the documentation to an office of the EPO (they are in Berlin, The Hague and Munich) or in the national offices of the member states of the European Union adhering to the European Convention.

The application procedure, for its processing, must include a descriptive text, a translation of the text into English, German or French if it is in another language and identify the applicant and inventor, in addition to the payment of the official fees for a European patent, which It must be done within 6 months after the publication of the patent. In some very specific cases, some additional documentation is required.

European patents are published 18 months after the filing of the application. Once the patent has been granted, the applicant must carry out the validation procedure in each of the corresponding countries in which they wish to have the rights to protect the inventions. In this way, we can skip the step of applying for a national patent one by one.

Contact Us

Are you wondering about the cost involved for a European patent? How to go about filing a proper, error-free application? Do you need any other type of information? Contact us and we can answer your questions. We are at your disposal should you wish to hire our services for obtaining a granted European patent. You can rely on us to handle the entire process.

Jesana IP is home to European and PCT patent specialists. In addition, we can also provide assistance in the registration and protection of a trademark, industrial design, or utility model.

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