Step towards Validation of European Patents in certain North-African States
Under the terms of an agreement signed in Munich on 3 July, 2014, European patent applicants and proprietors will be able to validate the legal effects of their European patents and applications on Tunisian territory, even though Tunisia is not an EPO member state.
Validated European patent applications and patents will have the same legal effect as Tunisian national applications and patents, and will be subject only to Tunisian patent legislation.
The EPO encourages European and non-European countries that are not member states of the EPO to allow applicants to validate the effects of European applications and patents on their national territory as national rights. This system, called "validation on request", may reduce national office examination workload and thus allow the offices to focus on the examination of national filings.
The agreement signed with Tunisia has however to be ratified before it can enter into force.
Ratification may take some time. Indeed, a similar agreement signed in 2010 with Morocco, also not an EPO member state, has yet to be ratified. Ratification of this agreement is expected by the end of 2014.
Accordingly, ratification of the newly signed agreement with Tunisia is unlikely to occur before 2015.
For more details or any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
- Publication date: August 2014
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