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New inventions which imply an inventive step and are appropriate for industrial application can be patented.
European patents are processed in German, French or English, although for provisional applications other languages are acceptable for applicants from one of the countries in the Munich Agreement.
European patents are effective for at most twenty years from the date of their application, and have to be turned into national patents in each of the countries designated in a period, normally three months, from the date on which these are granted.
They are subject to payment of annual rates, both in the European phase until this is granted, and in each of the different countries, in the national phase into which this is turned after being granted.
Priority of an application for a Patent or Utility Model can be claimed in a third country within one year from the initial application, meaning that any disclosure made between the date of priority and that of the application will not invalidate the innovation nor the inventive step, essential requisites required by the Agreement.
Similarly, the priority of a European patent can be claimed to obtain rights in other countries.
The processing of a patent includes the execution of a search report, applied for along with the initial application, and this is subjected to a substantive examination for innovation, the inventive step, industrial applicability and clarity in its description. After complying with the patentability conditions it is approved and published in the European Patent Bulletin. For this to have an effect in the different countries designated in the application a European patent granted must be turned into a national patent granted in each of said countries.
It is possible to obtain provisional protection from the date of the application’s publication by means of publishing the set of claims applied for in the corresponding national language.
REQUISITES FOR EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATIONSThe requisites for obtaining a European patent are as follows: