OJ EPO 2009, 396 - San Marino accedes to the European Patent Convention

1. Accession to the EPC On 21 April 2009, the government of the Republic of San Marino (SM) deposited its instrument of accession to the European Patent Convention (EPC).

The EPC will accordingly enter into force for San Marino on 1 July 2009.

The European Patent Organisation will thus comprise the following 36 member states from 1 July 2009:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.

Further information concerning the effects of this accession and San Marino's national provisions for the implementation of the EPC will be published in later issues of the Official Journal.

2. Important information European patent applications filed on or after 1 July 2009 will include the designation of the new contracting state. 1 It will not be possible to designate San Marino retroactively in applications filed before that date.

1 See Article 79(1) EPC. To obtain a reduction in the examination fee under Rule 6(3) EPC and Article 14(1) RFees, the request for examination may be submitted in Italian at any time before the examination fee is paid (see decision of the Legal Board of Appeal J 21/98, published in OJ EPO 2000, 406). The request for examination may be worded as follows in Italian: "Si richiede di esaminare la domanda ai sensi dell'art. 94".

To allow the new contracting state to be designated, however, the EPO will accord European patent applications filed in June 2009 the filing date of 1 July 2009 if the applicant expressly requests that filing date when filing the application.

3. PCT Nationals of San Marino and persons having their principal place of business or residence in San Marino will also be entitled, as from 1 July 2009, to file international applications with the European Patent Office as receiving Office.

Any PCT request (PCT/RO/101) filed on or after 1 July 2009 will automatically designate the new EPC contracting state for the purpose of obtaining a European patent (Rule 4.9(a)(iii) PCT).

No European patents for San Marino can be granted on the basis of inter- national applications with a filing date prior to 1 July 2009. However, a national patent can be granted, assuming that San Marino has been designated in the international applica- tion. The designation of San Marino at the time an international application with a filing date prior to 1 July 2009 enters the European phase 2 is legally invalid.

2 EPA/EPO/OEB Form 1200 04.09.

References: ar79;

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