A large part of the expense associated with obtaining patents in Europe arises from the requirement that allowed applications be translated into the local language (such as French or German) in order to be validated in a particular European country. It appears that this expensive requirement will soon become history, now that the French Senate has voted to ratify the London Agreement. The London Agreement will eliminate the “full translation” requirement in most countries so long as the patent is validated in Germany, the UK, France or Switzerland. (However, many countries will still require translation of the claims for validation.)
France was the sole remaining holdout for ratification of the London Agreement. As Joff Wild of IAM Magazine reports, France’s ratification still may be subject to challenge, but overall prospects look good for reducing the cost of European patents.
My friends at Murgitroyd & Company have prepared a helpful summary of the status of the London Agreement and how it will affect the European patent process.