The European Patent Convention
The granting of European patents is ruled by the European Patent Convention, which has been in force since 1978. The main function of the European Patent Convention is to provide for a centralized grant procedure resulting in patents which confer on the proprietor, in each contracting state for which they are granted, the same rights as a national patent in that state. In addition, the Convention includes rules on the interpretation of patents, on grounds for revocation and provides for centralized opposition, limitation and revocation procedures.
Parties to the Convention
Parties to the European Patent Convention which can be designated in a European Patent Application, are:
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Extensions of a European Patent can be requested for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.