The European Patent system allows for the patent to be granted to the single Intergovernmental organization, namely the European Patent Office. European Patent validation is the process by which a single patent application can be converted into indigenous national patent applications in the contracting states to the EPC.
This process involves the filing of the application with the required translations which are to be vetted and proofread by patent linguists, payments of the fees mandated by the respective patent offices and most importantly, make this filing within the deadline mentioned by the respective offices. This deadline generally revolves around 3 months. Therefore, within 3 months of the European Patent grant, the validation process in the respective patent offices requires being filed, in the interested jurisdictions by the Applicants. The Protection will be granted by the respected patent Offices to the Applicant and the renewals and maintenance also take place at the end of the individual country patent Offices. The European Patent Convention states that the national patent offices may not reject the patents as long as the deadlines are met and all the fees are paid.
The three-month deadline may be extended by paying an additional fee to the local patent offices under certain conditions. However, the deadline may not be extendable in certain countries. Another important aspect of the EP validation process is the Power of Attorney provided by the Applicant for the specific patent in the said jurisdiction. Certain jurisdictions require this Power of Attorney to be filed along with the validation process and in certain jurisdictions, the same can be followed up post-filing. This is of pertinence as the instruction for filing to the local agents cannot be given at the last moment and the transit period for the hard copies to reach the respective jurisdictions need to be considered as well.
Other huge requirements in the EP validation process are the translation of the claims and the description. It is good practice to vet the translation of the claims and the descriptions by patent linguists who are well versed with the patent language. In a worst-case scenario, this help in the event of claim interpretation in the scenario of litigation and in the best case scenario, best delineate the claims and will not allow any spill over into the public domain, by way of disclosure in the specification and not claiming. Also, this will help prevent any third parties to claim rights over such unintended change of claim language due to translation. Therefore, the importance of the need for accuracy of the translations is parallel to that of the getting the patent drafted from a skilful drafter and in accordance with the norms of the specific patent offices.
We at OutsourceIP work with the best translators who provide the best translations and coordinate with the respective foreign attorneys to be able to vet the said translation before the same enters into the validation phase. We provide for single point of contact for the translations to be done across multiple jurisdictions for clients who prefer to enter multiple member states of the European patent convention with different language requirements.