Types of protection

European Patent: A European patent is a regional, non-unitary patent resulting from a unified grant procedure using procedures established by the European Patent Convention (EPC). European patents are granted for some or all of the contracting states to the European Patent Convention (EPC). They can also be extended to the current extension and validation states. Once the mention of the grant is published, the patent has to be validated in each of the designated states within a specific time limit to retain its protective effect and be enforceable against infringers.The term is 20 years from the date of filing.

National Patent: A National Patent is available in all individual European countries; some European countries have substantive procedures to examine national patents, while others have no provision for such examination. In those cases, national patents are granted only if formal requirements are met, barring evaluation of the novelty and inventive steps. The term for this patent is 20 years.

Utility Model: Some European countries offer Utility Model Patents which protect technical innovations which might not qualify for a patent, and can be protected in some countries through registration.The term of a utility model is ordinarily shorter than the term of a patent, usually 6 to 15 years, and has less stringent patentability requirements.1

Design Model: Design Models protect the visual appearance of industrial products, i.e. their shape and colour. Information about designs can be obtained from the national intellectual property offices of the EPO's member states.

International, National and Regional applications

For information regarding how to file international, regional or national patent applications in each country, we welcome you to contact us.