The States Party to the European Patent Convention, currently are 38 (all EU member states and some third countries). The european patent is an instrument provides the holder an exclusive right and has as main characteristic the fact of requiring a single, centralized filing procedure, examination and grant. This results in a more reasonable time, costs less burdensome procedures and homologation weight yield of reference standards and the presence of the entity that manages the institute. The regulatory body is in fact, the European Patent Office (EPO) in charge of examining purely formal demand.
Once filed the application, in the timeframe of three to six months, the organization will supply a “Research Report” and a Review of patentability. The eighteenth month from the date of first deposit (for which it is expected to maintain the priority date) the application is published together with the research report.
You can also request a substantive examination, on those typical aspects of the invention / solution as novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability). As a result of this examination will be issued a “Research Report” containing the main elements of the application, any impediment and a written opinion on the effective patentability. Passed the examination will proceed with the grant and its publication in the Official Bulletin of the European Patent.
Obtained the patent will be valid in each country must make the “European patent” only by payment of the relevant fees for the maintenance; its validity decade irreversibly and automatically stopping to pay tax for its maintenance. Furthermore, the date of publication in the official gazette and for the nine months, the patent may be subjected to opposizoine by third parties; after this period, the only way to assert its nullity will be through traditional court cases in individual countries of reference.