If I apply for patent protection, what rights will I be entitled to?

Patent owners in the EU are generally entitled to prevent others from making, using, offering for sale, selling, or importing for these purposes the invention without prior authorisation.

Consequently, if you get patent protection, other persons and organisations cannot exploit your patent protected work without your consent. However, it is important to remember that you will be entitled to this set of rights only in the territories where you have been granted a patent and as long as the patent subsists.

How to get a patent in several European and non-European countries?

If you have decided to protect your invention by patent in several European and non-European countries, you may consider filing an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Similarly to the EPC, the PCT provides for the filing of a single patent application (usually called an international application) with effect in several countries. The difference is that a PCT patent application does not have a regional scope like the EPC, but an international one.

How do I proceed to get a patent in more than one European Union Member State?

If you want patent protection in more than one EU Member State, it is possible to file patent applications directly in each of the national patent offices of the countries where you seek protection. Another option that you have is to use the European Patent Convention (EPC), which allows you to register patents in more than one European country through a single application. In this way, even though you file only one patent application, you will be granted as many patents (usually called European patents) as the number of countries you have designated.

What is the procedure to file a patent in the European Union?

Patents are territorial rights that require registration - that is, in order to protect your invention in a given country, you must file a patent application in the country concerned or through a regional patent office designating countries in which protection shall be obtained. The European Patent Office offers a very simplified way to apply for several national patents through a unique "European" patent application.

What is a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted by countries or communities for the protection of inventions, whether products or processes, that offer a new technical solution or provide a new way of doing something, during a limited period of time, usually 20 years. In return of this limited monopoly, the owner of a patent must disclose the invention to the public, in the patent application. A patent is a territorial right and has its effects within the national boundaries of the country for which it was granted.