EUROPEAN PATENT ORGANISATION
Agreement dated 17 October 2000 on the application of Article 65 EPC
The above agreement, concluded in London on 17 October 2000, will liberalise the translation arrangements for European patents. It is the fruit of work on reducing European patent costs, which was set in motion at the intergovernmental conference held in France in 19991.
The text of the agreement is reproduced below. The parties to it undertake to waive, entirely or largely, the requirement for translations of European patents to be filed in their national language. This means in practice that European patent proprietors will no longer have to file a translation of the specification for patents granted for an EPC contracting state party to the London Agreement and having one of the three EPO languages as an official language. Where this is not the case, they will be required to submit a full translation of the specification in the national language only if the patent is not available in the EPO language designated by the country concerned. For more details, see Articles 1 and 2 of the agreement. This breakthrough on the language issue will significantly reduce the cost of European patents.
Ten contracting states have signed the agreement2. To enter into force, it must be ratified by at least eight, including the three where the most European patents took effect in 19993 (Article 6 of the agreement).
1 See OJ EPO 1999, 545.
2 Denmark, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
3 France, Germany, United Kingdom.