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Translation Requirements for Validation of European Patents

A patent that has been granted by the European Patent Office may subsequently be made effective in any of the countries for which a designation, extension or validation fee has been paid.  This process is commonly known as “validation” of the European patent.  Some countries impose translation requirements as part of the validation procedure.  In general, any required translations must be submitted within three months of the grant date of the patent.

The translation requirements imposed vary significantly between the different countries.  The majority of European patents are in English, and for such patents, the following requirements apply:

(a)  Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have no post-grant translation requirements.

(b)  Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Slovenia require translations of the claims of the patent (but not the entire specification) in the appointed language to be filed.

(c)  Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey require a translation of the entire specification in the appointed language to be filed.  This includes a translation of the sequence listing, if one is present.

The attached annex sets out the requirements for each country, including the appointed language where relevant.  As is evident from the annex, in some countries it is possible to re-use a translation prepared for another country with the same appointed language.  For example, a Greek translation can be used in both Greece and Cyprus, an Italian translation can be used in both Italy and San Marino, a Croatian translation can be used in both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, a Serbian translation can be used in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a Romanian translation can be used in both Romania and Moldova.

If you have any questions about the European grant and validation procedure, or need advice or estimates for a European case that is about to be granted, get in touch with your usual J A Kemp contact or email James Egleton at jegleton@jakemp.com.

Annex - translation requirements for European patents in English

[i] Although Montenegrin and Serbian are officially different languages, there has not yet been any significant divergence since Montenegro gained independence from Serbia.  A Serbian translation of the claims can therefore be used in Montenegro (as well as in Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina).

03 January 2017

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