How to apply for a European patent (part 1/4)

von Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP

Have you just invented a technical product, device or process? Of course you want to protect your invention and benefit from it in the long run. If your invention meets all necessary conditions, you can apply for a patent. Today and in the next three blog articles we’ll deal with the application process for a European patent. This is one of the most popular methods to get your invention protected in Europe.

But before we get started with the procedure of application and granting a patent itself, let’s have a look at all existing possibilities to patent a technical product in Europe, and deal with some important definitions.

PCT Application and EP Patent
  1. PCT application: You can apply for a national patent at first, for example in Germany. On the basis of this national patent you can then file an international patent application according to the patent cooperation treaty (PCT). The protection in Europe derives from this international application. The biggest advantage of this method is that you can easily access extensive international protection for your invention. You also gain a lot of time to ultimately decide in which countries you want your innovation to be patent-protected.
  2. EP patent: If protection in the European states has a special priority for you, you can apply directly for an EP patent at the European Patent Office (EPO). One big advantage of this method is that it not only applies for states who are members of the European Union, but for all states who have signed the European Patent Convention (EPÜ). This means, for example, that you can get your invention patent-protected in Turkey although this country is not a member of the EU.

As you can already imagine, the application for a patent in Europe can get really complicated. In this how-to guide we especially cover all steps of method 2, i.e. of how to apply for an EP patent directly at the EPO ...

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