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Last modified: 17 December 2010

Acquiring Patent through a European Procedure


European patent is a patent granted on the basis of the Munich Convention concerning the granting of the European patent protection of October 5, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the "Convention").

A European Patent Application can be filed either with the European Patent Office (hereinafter referred to as "EPO") or the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office.

The application will be published by EPO after the expiration of a period of eighteen months from the date of priority. Before publication EPO carries out the formal examination of the application and if possible, the novelty search. The search report, if completed, is published together with the application; if not, it will be published later.

The applicant may decide in light of the search report whether he or she would like to request the substantive examination of the application. The EPO decides on the patentability conditions of the application in the framework of the substantive examination. In case of a positive outcome the EPO grants a European patent on the subject matter of the application, the scope of which extends to the territories of all countries indicated in the application.

Within nine months from the publication of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Depending on whether the opposition is established or not, the EPO may in the opposition procedure revoke the European patent or maintain it with or without limitations.

Against the individual decisions of the EPO appeal may be filed to the boards of appeal.

In countries indicated in the application, a provisional protection will only be established, or the granted European patent will only become effective, if the conditions prescribed by national legal regulations have been satisfied within a certain period of time in relation to them. The further agenda of the European patents becoming effective in the individual countries, is essentially similar to the patents granted by the national offices.

Taking the costs and legal effects of the European application into consideration, it is advisable to resort to the help of patent attorneys.

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