An illustration of the patent process when you apply for a european patent.

European patent (EP)

With a European patent application, you can apply for patents in around 40 European countries. If your application is granted, you can choose to validate your patent in different countries or to request unitary protection. The unitary patent will become a reality in 2023 and will eventually cover most countries in the EU.

One application for 39 countries

You can apply for a patent with the European Patent Office (EPO) due to the European Patent Convention (EPC), which applies in around 40 European countries.

Filing a European application is a good choice when:

  • Your market is in Europe
  • You want to cover several countries with a single application

The European Patent Office (EPO) will examine your patent application and take a patentability decision recognised by all EPC countries. Hence, you will only need to file a single patent application. Should the EPO decide to grant your application, you will then be required to either:

  1. validate your patent separately in different countries, or
  2. request unitary effect of the patent (Please note that the Unitary patent system will not enter into force until spring 2023)

It is up to you to decide which option is best suited for you, and you will only have to make up your mind once the EPO has granted the patent.

PRV's search and examination of a Swedish application will form a good basis for deciding your next step. By turning to us before proceeding with a European application, you can minimise the risk of losing a substantial amount of money in the event that your European application would have been rejected.

For questions regarding European applications, please contact the EPO (with offices in Berlin, the Hague and Munich).

Read more

EPO - European Patent Office (external website)

EPO - European applications (external website)

EPO - How to apply for a European patent (external website)

EPO - Member states (external website)

Online Filing, eOLF (external website)

Fees and payment