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h u t c h i n s o n  i p UK & EUROPEAN PATENT & DESIGN ATTORNEYS
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Hutchinson IP is a UK-based firm of European Patent Attorneys who offer a full range of European patent filing and prosecution services.  We can help you to obtain, maintain and enforce European patents.

We can handle the drafting and filing of European patents as “first filings” directly with the EPO. Alternatively, if you require European patent corresponding to an application filed elsewhere, we can handle the filing of “priority applications” in the EPO and can attend to entry into the European Regional Phase of the PCT.

The requirements of European patent applications are somewhat more stringent in certain respects than in other countries, which is why we offer a capped-fee re-drafting service, to smooth the prosecution of the European application - details of which can be found here.

DIRECT FILING AT THE EPO:

Direct filings at the EPO can be validly filed at any time before the invention is first made available to the public.  The EPO has an absolute, worldwide novelty requirement, meaning that any public disclosure of the invention before the application’s priority date potentially counts as invalidating prior art.  It is therefore imperative that a patent application is filed (either in the EPO, or in any other Paris Convention country) before the invention is made public, which includes written or oral disclosures, sales, demonstrations, use or disclosures made in any other way.

ALTERNATIVE TO EPO FIRST FILING:

Rather than first filing in the EPO, you may also want to consider making the first application for a patent in the UKIPO instead, which we can also handle for you.  The main advantages of doing so being very low official fees (compared to the EPO) and the possibility of receiving a Search Report within a few weeks or months of filing.  An early search can provide you with an indication of the application's prospects of success and the likely scope of protection that may be obtainable before having to commit to the much higher EPO costs.  You can also read more about searching by clicking on this link.

PRIORITY FILING:

If you have already applied for a patent for an invention in a Paris Convention country less than 12 months ago, then it is possible to file a priority-claiming patent application at the EPO and have it effectively backdated to the earlier application’s filing date.  The cut-off is 12 months from the earlier application’s filing date.

EUROPEAN REGIONAL PHASE OF THE PCT:

The deadline for entering the European regional phase of the PCT is 31 months from the PCT application’s priority date.  This can effectively be extended by a few additional months, if necessary, albeit upon payment of a 50% surcharge.  For more information about PCT-EP applications and entry into the European regional phase of the PCT, please click here.

VALIDATION, RENEWAL, TRANSACTIONS & CONTENTIOUS MATTERS:

We also offer validation and renewal services for European patents, details of which can be found here.  We can also represent you in relation to Opposition proceedings, third party observations and IP transactions.

If you would like us to represent you in relation to European patents, then please contact us to discuss your requirements.


Related information:

The European Patent Convention

EPC Contracting States

EP national phase entry requirements

WE ARE EUROPEAN PATENT ATTORNEYS AND CAN HELP YOU TO OBTAIN, MAINTAIN AND ENFORCE PATENTS IN EUROPE.

European patents