2.12.001With some European states which are not a party to the EPC and thus not "included" in the designation "EP", the European Patent Organisation has concluded what are known as "extension agreements". Pursuant to such agreements and the relevant national law, it is possible for applicants to extend European patent applications and patents to extension states, where the extended patents will confer essentially the same protection as patents granted by the EPO for the current 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation. Valid extension requires firstly that the applicant submit a request for extension and pay the extension fee(s) in due time, i.e. within the period for performing the acts required for entry of an international application into the European phase or within six months from the date of publication of the international search report, whichever period expires later (see points 5.8.012 ff). A further requirement is that, on the international filing date, the extension agreement has to be in force and the extension state must both be a PCT contracting state and be designated for a national patent in the international application.
2.12.002The extension states listed below were already PCT contracting states on the date of entry into force of the extension agreements. Moreover, as from 1 January 2004, all PCT contracting states are automatically designated for a national and, where applicable, a regional patent (see point 2.11.002).
2.12.003On 1 January 2022, extension agreements were in force with:
–Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA) (since 1 December 2004);
–Montenegro (ME) (since 1 March 2010).
2.12.004As to the extension of a European patent to the Republic of Montenegro (ME) after its declaration of independence on 3 June 2006 but before entry into force of the extension agreement on 1 March 2010, please refer to the information in the Official Journal.
2.12.005The extension agreements with Albania (AL), Croatia (HR), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), North Macedonia (MK), Romania (RO), Serbia (RS) and Slovenia (SI) terminated when these states acceded to the EPC. The extension system continues to apply after the relevant termination date for all applications filed prior to the date on which the extension agreement concerned terminated.
2.12.006In view of the time limit for paying extension fees (see point 2.12.001), it is not necessary to take a decision on the states for which extension is sought – or pay the extension fees due accordingly – prior to the application's entry into the European phase (see points 5.8.012 ff).