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Patent application in Europe


You can apply for a patent for several countries at once. Such a group of countries is called a region. You can apply for a European patent for the region of Europe. The European patent is applied for and granted centrally via the European Patent Office (EPO).

After your patent has been examined and granted, you can validate it in the European countries in which you want to obtain a patent. You then have a collection of patents.

As of beginning 2023, the unitary patent is a new choice following the granting of your European patent. The new unitary patent is a single patent for 17 European member states.

Granting procedure

The European procedure begins at the European Patent Office. Your application is filed in English, German or French, the 3 official languages of the European Patent Office. Once the application has been filed, an international novelty search is carried out. This search checks the application against the requirements of novelty, the inventive step and industrial application.

The application and the search report are published 18 months following the date on which the application was filed. If the patent is granted, it is registered in the patent register of each country for which the patent has been applied for. You must submit translations in the national language of each of these countries for this purpose.

European patents in the Netherlands

The Patent Act 1995 and the accompanying Implementation Decree impose obligations upon the owners of European patents. In the Patent Act 1995, a European patent is deemed to be a patent granted pursuant to the European Patents Convention by the European Patents Office, which is valid in the Netherlands.

A European patent has the same legal consequences in the Netherlands and is governed by the same law as a patent granted pursuant to the Patent Act 1995 by the Netherlands Patent Office, a department of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. The grant date of the European patent is the date on which the grant is published in the 'European Patent Bulletin' of the European Patent Office. However, before a patent can be granted, the application procedure for a European patent will involve:

Contact us

If you need more information on how to apply for a patent in the Netherlands, please contact the public information office.

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