Protecting your inventions in Europe is set to become cheaper, according to East Anglian patent and trade mark attorneys Sanderson & Co.
New patent legislation, the London Agreement, is expected almost to halve translation costs associated with European patents, saving UK businesses around £10 million annually. These costs account for a significant proportion of the cost of a European patent application.
Until now, once a European patent was granted it had to be translated into the official language of each country where protection was required, pushing up costs and discouraging inventors and small businesses from applying.
The London Agreement removes the need to file translations in European countries having English, French or German as an official language. Other European countries can nominate one of these languages.
As from 1st May 2008, seven European countries – the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco and Liechtenstein – no longer require any translation of European patents.
Seven further countries – the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Croatia, Iceland, Slovenia and Latvia – now accept European patents in English, with the claims, which define the legal monopoly, translated into that country’s official language.
The remaining members of the European Patent Convention have yet to sign up to the London Agreement, but are expected to do so in due course.
For advice on how to protect your inventions in Europe and throughout the world, contact Sanderson & Co. on 01206 571187
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