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What is a European patent
The European patent is a patent for an industrial invention or utility model obtained following a unified procedure of filing, examining and granting.
The concession procedure provides a single application, written in a language chosen from among English, French or German and allows obtaining a patent in the member states of the European Patent Organisation designated by the applicant (it is also possible to request the protection conferred by the European patent in other non-member states that authorise its extension on their territory).
The European patents confer the owner, in the designated member states, upon completion of national validation, the same rights that would derive from a national patent obtained in the same states.

How to obtain a European patent
The European patent application can be filed with the European Patent Office, in the offices of Munich, The Hague or Berlin, or with the National Patent Offices of the Contracting Countries. The European patent application originating in Italian must be filed with the Chamber of Commerce - Rome: Camera di Commercio di Roma, via Capitan Bavastro via Capitan Bavastro, 116 - 00154 Rome, which in turn will send it to the IPTO. To be able to proceed, the IPTO requests clearance from the military authority, which has 90 days to express itself. After this period and having obtained clearance, even through silence/approval, the application is sent to EPO. In the case the application does not represent a first filing (in the case a priority of a national application is claimed), the patent application can be directly sent to EPO.
The procedure for obtaining a European patent includes two phases: that of filing the application (including the examination of the formal conditions, the clearance research and ends with the publication of the application and the research report), and that of examining the application, which ends with the possible granting of the patent.
If the patent is granted, the applicant can start the validation procedure in all states designated by him or just in some of them. If the patent language is not the official language of the designated state, an appropriate translation must be provided, declared compliant with the original under the risk of rendering the patent invalid in that state if found otherwise, within three months from the granting. The translation must be filed with a Camera di Commercio (Chamber of Commerce). The validity of the European patent is 20 years starting from the date of filing by the European application. The owner, if residing abroad and not represented by an Italian representative, must elect a domicile in Italy.

It should be noted that any third party can file an objection against a European patent within nine months from the date of the grant. Such an objection is evaluated by a specific Division of the European Patent Office, whose decision shall be valid in all designated states.

To have the latest information on how to submit an application, on the payment of fees and on the application's examination procedures (formal and of merit), as well as on the procedures for filing an objection against a European patent, visit the EPO website.


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