If you are going to apply for a European patent for your invention, you will surely hear the term ‘validation’. What is a validation of a patent and when it shall be done?
Validation is a term used for European patents. A European patent, after it is granted by the European Patent Office (EPO), is somehow “suspended in a vacuum”: as a general rule, it is not valid in any of the 38 states – parties to the European Patent Convention (EPC). To make this patent valid in a given country, within a maximum of three months from the date of publication of the patent grant notice (Publication B1), this patent must be validated in the selected country. This procedure is not complicated.
Validation of a European patent in a chosen country entails completing a series of formalities, which depend on the laws of that country. Typically, this involves paying a relevant fee and/or translating the patent claims or the entire patent description into the language of the country. In some countries, there is also a requirement for representation by a patent attorney. This means that validation cannot be done independently – one must use the services of a local patent attorney.
The duration of the validation process depends on the patent office of the country. However, it is essential to take action and complete all necessary formalities within three months from the date of publication of the B1 patent.
In Poland, the procedures and conditions for the validation of a European patent are determined by the Act of 14 March 2003 on the filing of European patent applications and the effects of a European patent in the Republic of Poland.
According to the provisions of the aforementioned Act, to validate a European patent in Poland, within the aforementioned three-month period from the date of publication of the B1, a translation of the entire description of the invention into Polish must be submitted to the Polish Patent Office (UPRP). Additionally, if the patent owner is not a Polish entity, they must act through a Polish patent attorney to submit this translation. An official fee for the publication of the translation must also be paid to the UPRP. The amount of this fee depends on the number of pages of the patent description translated into Polish.
To enjoy the protection of a European patent in selected countries, mere validation is not sufficient. It is essential to maintain the patent in force – yearly fees for further years of protection must be paid to the patent offices of all countries where the patent has been validated and where one wishes to prevent the patent from expiring.
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