What is the procedure to file a patent in the European Union?

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Patents are territorial rights that require registration - that is, in order to protect your invention in a given country, you must file a patent application in the country concerned or through a regional patent office designating countries in which protection shall be obtained. The European Patent Office offers a very simplified way to apply for several national patents through a unique "European" patent application. You can also file an application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty which allows the owner of an invention to seek for a national patent protection in several countries by filing one “international” patent application.

Hence, if you would like to have a patent in an EU Member State, we suggest that you contact the national patent office of the country or one of the regional patent offices in order to file the patent application there. Irrespective of the filing procedure, the rights to which you are entitled will depend on the national law of the country of registation.

Please note that filing a patent application is highly technical, and choosing the appropriate procedure (at national, European or international level) certainly has implications in terms of cost and time. Therefore, we encourage you to seek legal advice before taking the decision to submit any patent application.