Designations, extensions and validations
A (flat) designation fee must be paid within 31 months from the filing date or, if priority has been claimed, the earliest priority date, or within six months from the date of publication of the ISR, whichever time limit expires later. Therefore, unless the publication of the ISR was considerably delayed, the designation fee must be paid within the 31-month time limit.
Payment of the designation fee will be effective only in respect of EPC contracting states that were designated for a European patent in the international application on the international filing date (see point 114).
Applicants are reminded that upon filing of the PCT request all PCT contracting states are automatically designated for both a national and, where applicable, a regional patent. Therefore, payment of the (flat) designation fee on entry into the European phase confirms the designation of the EPC contracting states that were EPC and PCT contracting states at the international filing date (see point 115). An exception applies where the applicant has withdrawn the designation for a European patent in respect of one or more EPC contracting states during the international phase.
If a state for which patent protection is sought was neither an EPC contracting state nor an extension or validation state at the international filing date (see point 556557), the applicant must enter the national phase in the state concerned to obtain patent protection for that state on the basis of his international application. If, however, before entry into force of the EPC for a state an extension agreement with that state was in force, patent protection in that state may still be obtained on the basis of the extension agreement for any application filed before the extension agreement was terminated (see point 125).
Date retrieved: 24 November 2017
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EPC Implementing Rules
XR.159 EPC The European Patent Office as a designated or elected Office – Requirements for entry into the European phase