London Agreement Translation

States for which the translation of the description into English (if the patent was issued in French or German) and the translation of the claims in their national language meet the translation requirements: in 2000, France, Germany, England, Liechtenstein, Monaco, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark agreed, under the London Agreement , to change the demanding translation requirements. Since then, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg and Slovenia have also joined the group. In Great Britain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden, the new provisions of the London Agreement apply in such situations, reducing the translation requirements for the amended patent. The agreement did not change other language provisions applicable prior to the issuance of a European patent, such as the requirement to translate claims for a European patent application “in the two official languages of the European Patent Office, with a different language of procedure,” after receiving notification of Rule 71 (3) CBE indicating that the EPO intends to issue a European patent. The London Agreement applies to European patents for which the reference to the issue is published in the European Patent Bulletin after the agreement for the State concerned comes into force (see Article 9). The new translation regime therefore applies to states that have ratified or acceded to the London Agreement to all European patents for which the mention of the issue was published in the European Patent Bulletin on 1 May 2008. For Albania, Lithuania and Northern Macedonia (formerly the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”), the London agreement has no impact on the existing translation regime. States parties to the CBE that have ratified or acceded to the agreement are committed to giving up the translation of European patents altogether or to a large extent. In addition, under Article 1, paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of the London Convention, a State party to the Convention reserves the right to require the patent holder to translate into one of the official languages of the State in the event of a dispute over a European patent. These countries choose one of these three languages (English, French or German) and only need a translation of the patent into the chosen language (provided the patent has not been issued in that language). They may require translation of the claims into their national language. Compared to previous patent translation requirements, the amount of translation for companies seeking patent protection in the aforementioned countries has decreased significantly. For Germany, the old translation requirements continue to apply to European patents issued before 1 May 2008 and amended on or after the date.

They continue to apply to Finland for European patents issued before 1 November 2011 and Norway for those issued before 1 January 2015. Other states that have joined the London agreement but do not have a common language with the EPO have designated a “prescribed language,” that is, the language you include in English, French and German for the patent to enter into force in that country. To date, all states in this category have chosen English as their regulated language. This means that filing and tracking an application in English and not in French or German reduces validation costs in these countries. Some of these states only request translations of the claims into their national language, as shown below.

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