With some European states which are not a party to the EPC and thus not "included" in the designation "EP", the EPO has concluded so-called "extension agreements". Pursuant to such agreements and the relevant national law, it is possible for applicants to extend European patent applications and patents to extension states, where the extended patents will confer essentially the same protection as patents granted by the EPO for the current 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation. Valid extension requires firstly that the applicant submits a request for extension and pays the extension fee(s) in due time, i.e. within 31 months from the date of filing (or the earliest priority date) or six months from the date of publication of the international search report, whichever is the later. A further requirement is that, on the international filing date, the extension agreement has to be in force and the extension state must both be a PCT contracting state and be designated for a national patent in the international application.
The extension states listed below were already PCT contracting states on the date of entry into force of the extension agreements. Moreover, as from 1 January 2004, all PCT contracting states are automatically designated for a national and, where applicable, a regional patent (see point 117).
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA) (since 1 December 2004);
OJ 2004, 563, 619
Montenegro (ME) (since 1 March 2010).
OJ 2010, 10
The extension agreements with Albania (AL), Croatia (HR), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MK), Romania (RO), Serbia (RS) and Slovenia (SI) terminated when these states acceded to the EPC. The extension system continues to apply after the relevant termination date for all applications filed prior to the date on which the extension agreement concerned terminated.
OJ 2002, 463
OJ 2003, 1
OJ 2004, 481
OJ 2005, 299
OJ 2007, 637
OJ 2008, 507
OJ 2010, 96, 394
A decision on the states for which extension is sought - and, in accordance therewith, timely payment of the extension fee(s) is due - need not be taken until the application has to enter the European phase (see points 567 ff).
OJ 2009, 603
Date retrieved: 30 December 2018
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EPO Guidelines Foreword
EPO Guidelines - A Formalities Examination
XGL A III 12 Extension and validation of European patent applications and patents to/in states not party to the EPC