Frequently Asked Questions
1.What should I prepare when I want to export my product to Europe?
There are two main actions that should be performed before entering the European market :
(i) Check that you enjoy the freedom to operate in Europe. This means that you need to determine whether you can freely import, sell, or offer to sell your product in Europe. It may happen that another company has obtained a patent right on your product or has registered a trademark identical or similar to the name of your product, or enjoy a copyright on your product. In this case, if your import your product in Europe, you may face an infringement action by the right holder. It is therefore essential to proceed with a trademark search or a patent search prior entering the European market to have a clear view of the rights owned by third parties within your technological field.
(ii) Obtain an IP right on your product. The European market is a competitive market and you should not enter the European market without securing your IP rights. It should be clearly understood that a Chinese patent or a Chinese Trademark has no effect in Europe. If you want to bar third parties to make, use, import, sell, or offer to sell your product in Europe, you should file Patent or Trademark before the Regional Administration (EPO for Patent), (OHMI for Trademark) or before the national offices of the European countries in which you want to be protected. Our firm is competent to assist you in all these procedures, both before the Regional Administrations and before national administrations.
2. Can I file directly my patent in Europe if I dont yet have a business there ?
No, natural or legal persons not having their residence or principal place of business in a Contracting State of the European Patent Convention, shall be represented by a professional representative and act through him in all proceedings established by the EPC. Representation of natural or legal persons in proceedings may only be undertaken by professional representatives whose names appear on a list maintained for this purpose by the European Patent Office. Our firm counts 12 European patent attorneys who passed the European Patent Examination and are officially registered before the EPO.
3. Does European Patent cover all the member countries in European Union?
The European Union counts 27 member states while the European Patent Convention counts 38 member states, among which all the member states of the European Union. Therefore, if you file a European patent Application before the EPO, you will be able to cover all the countries of the European union. The list of countries that can be covered by a European Patent is currently the following.
4. Should I apply for patent directly in my target country (in EU) or in European Patent Office?
Different strategies may be used depending on your goal, your finance and your technology. As a general matter and considering the costs only, European route should be preferred if you target more than 3 countries. This said, for a weak invention, national routes should be preferred in peculiar in countries where there is no substantive examination. It is indeed easier to obtain a granted patent in some countries like France, Italy, etc. where the substantive examination is less strict than before the European Patent Office. On the other hand, if your technology can enjoy a strong protection, it is better to use the European Route since a granted European Patent is difficult to invalidate due to its high reputation.
5. How much does it cost to apply a European Patent/Design/Trademark?
For a Direct European Patent Application, the total of the official fees (filing fee, search fee, examination fee, designation fee) is currently 3 025 euros. The grant official fee is 830 euros. For a Regional phase of a sino-PCT, the search fee is reduced of 190 euros. For our attorney fees, pls check with us.
For a Community Design of 7 views, claiming a priority, the total of the official fees for filing and publication is 350 euros. For our attorney fees, pls check with us.
For a Community Trademark, in 3 classes, claiming a priority, the total of the official fees for filing is 900 euros. For our attorney fees, pls check with us.
6. How much does it cost to maintain my European Patent Application in Force in Europe?
A European Patent shall be maintained starting from the 3rd year, no matter whether the patent is still pending or is already granted. Before grant, annuities are paid directly before the European Patent Office. Once granted, the annuities are paid directly before the national offices of the countries where you want to maintain the patent right. Pls note that the annuities paid before the national offices are generally lower than the maintenance fees paid before the EPO. Pls check with us for fees of specific countries The amount of the official fees before the EPO is as follows: