The European Patent Convention is a member of the International
Patent Convention and of the PCT. The average cost of filing
a European Patent Convention National Phase application
based on a PCT application is about EUR 5 200.00 (as of
January 2008, inclusive of the filing of a preliminary amendment
to bring the claims into conformity with local patent law
and to reduce the total number of claims to 10 or less to
avoid claim surcharges) where 7 or more of the following
states are designated:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic,
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and
the former Yogoslav Republic of Macedonia.
this filing cost must be added about EUR 850.00 if the International
Search was not performed by the EPO and a further EUR 850.00
if the International Preliminary Examination was not performed
by the EPO.
application can be extended to one or more of the following
states at a cost of about EUR 180.00 per state:
and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.
the PCT international application was examined by the EPO
and a clear International Preliminary Examination Report
issued then prosecution costs of about EUR 1000.00 are expected.
However, if this was not the case, the application will
be examined by the EPO. If the Examiner objects to some
or all of the claims, prosecution costs of at least EUR
3 000.00 can be expected. Should the Examiner accept the
application, publication and grant costs of about EUR 3
500.00 will be payable.
validation in each of the states nominated by the applicant
must occur by way of filing a translation of the application
at each Patent Office of such nominated state at a cost
of at least EUR 1 500.00 per state (plus a translation charge,
where applicable, calculated in terms of the number of words
in the application).
click on the title "Foreign
Filings and the PCT" for general information on foreign
The European Community Design provides for protection of
designs which extends to all the member countries of the
European Union. The members as at 1 August 2008 include
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland,
Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands,
Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden,
and the United Kingdom.
the European Community is a member of the Paris Convention.
Accordingly, priority can be claimed from a South African
design application within 6 months of filing such application.
For more details about South African design applications,
please click on"South
types of design protection is available, namely registered
Community Designs, the right to which is acquired by registration,
and unregistered Community Designs, the right to which is
acquired by the first making available to the public of
the relevant design within the European Union.
requirements for a Community Design is a design which is
new and which has individual character. Accordingly, a design
will be considered new if no identical design has been made
available to the public before the date of application thereof,
or where priority is claimed, before the priority date.
shall be considered to have individual merit if the overall
impression it produces on an informed user differs from
the impression produced on the same informed user by any
design which has previously been made available to the public.
An important factor when considering individual character
is to take into consideration the degree of freedom of the
designer in developing the design.
definition of a registered Community Design relates to the
appearance of the whole or part of a product as a result
of the features of, specifically, the lines, contours, shape,
texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its
ornamentation. Design protection does not require any aesthetic
a product is further defined to include any industrial or
handicraft item, including, among others, parts intended
for assembly into a complex product, packaging, get-up,
graphic symbols and typographic typefaces, but excluding
computer programs. It is of particular interest to note
that these broad definitions permit the protection of three-dimensional
marks, for example packaging. This has particular application
in circumstances where a novel shape does not have sufficient
distinctiveness to be registered as a trademark.
excluded from design protection are features of a product
which are solely dictated by its technical function or shape
of the product which permits it to perform a specific function.
Neither will protection be granted for a design which is
contrary to public policy or to accepted principles of morality.
Spare parts are also excluded from design protection.
duration of a European Community Design is 25 years, subject
to renewal every five years from application.
unregistered Community Design is defined exactly as the
registered design, but the protection under such a design
is much weaker as the duration is only three years and only
unauthorized copying constitutes actionable infringement
thereof. It is therefore important that registered design
protection is applied for.
of 1 August 2008, the charge for preparing and filing a
European Community Design will typically be between about
EUR 2000.00 and EUR 2200.00
more information about European Community design applications,
please contact us via the "contact us" link.
The European Community trademark provides
for protection of marks which extend to all the member countries
of the European Union. The members as at 1 May 2004 include
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,
Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain,
Sweden, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia,
Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and
Slovenia. At present the Candidate countries are Bulgaria,
Croatia, Romania, and Turkey with a pending application
for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
the European Community is a member of the Paris Convention
under which any resident of a Convention country is entitled
to claim the priority date of a first application made in
a convention country as that of any subsequent application
in any other Convention country within a 6 month period.
trade mark must meet two conditions: a trade mark is a sign
which can be represented in graphic form, and it must make
it possible to distinguish goods and services from those
of another company.
procedure for obtaining a Community trademark begins with
the filing of the application. This is followed by a preliminary
formal examination whereafter, if the requirements are met,
a filing date is accorded to the application.
allocation of the filing date, the application is subjected
to an examination of the other formalities, including correct
fees, classification, priority claimed, etc. A search for
earlier similar trade marks is also conducted at this stage,
as well as a substantive examination into registrability.
The application is then published with a 3 month opposition
period. If no opposition is made, the mark is registered
in the Register of Community Trade Marks.
duration of the Community trademark is ten years, with indefinite
renewal of further ten year periods.
more information on the individual countries, please select
an appropriate country from the pull-down "Select a region"
list at the top left hand side of this page or return to
our home page and select a country using the interactive
map of the world.