Q. EXTENSION OF EUROPEAN PATENTS
Extension of European patents to Montenegro (ME)
1. On 13 February 2009, the President of the European Patent Office and Montenegro's Minister for Economic Development signed an agreement on the extension of European patents (extension agreement).
2. This agreement enters into force on 1 March 2010. From that date it will be possible to extend to Montenegro the protection conferred by European patent applications and patents. Extended European patent applications and patents will confer essentially the same protection in Montenegro as the patents granted by the EPO for the now 36 member states of the European Patent Organisation.
3. The provisions governing extension to Montenegro follow from Articles 104 to 113 of the Montenegrin Patent Act (published in Montenegro's Official Journal No. 66/08 on 31 October 2008) and apply as from 1 March 2010.
4. Extension occurs at the applicant's request.
4.1 Extension to Montenegro is deemed requested for any European and international patent application filed on or after 1 March 2010. It is not available for applications filed prior to that date, or for any European patents resulting from such applications. For these older applications and patents, comparable effects may however be available under the co-operation and extension agreement between the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the European Patent Organisation which entered into force on 1 November 20041.
4.2 The extension fee is EUR 102. It must be paid to the EPO within six months of the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions the publication of the European search report, or, where applicable, within the period for performing the acts required for entry of an international application into the European phase.
4.3 After expiry of the relevant basic time limit, the extension fee can still be validly paid within the two-month period of grace for the payment of designation fees, provided that within that period a surcharge of 50% is also paid2. If further processing is available following failure to pay designation fees in due time, the extension fee too can be paid subsequently under the rules applicable3.
4.4 If the extension fee is not paid in due time, the request for extension is deemed withdrawn. Further information about the extension of European patent applications and patents to Montenegro will be published in the EPO brochure "National law relating to the EPC" as soon as it is available4.
1 See OJ EPO 2004, 563 and the information in OJ EPO 2007, 406 on the effects of Montenegro's declaration of independence of 3 June 2006 on implementation of the co-operation and extension agreement between the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the European Patent Organisation. For the effect in Montenegro of applications and patents extended to Serbia under that agreement, see the Montenegrin "Regulation on Providing the Application of Intellectual Property Rights" of 20.9.2007 published in Montenegro's Official Journal No. 61/07 on 12.10.2007 and in force since 20.10.2007, as amended and supplemented by the Regulation of 30.10.2008 published in Montenegro's Official Journal No. 70/08 on 19.11.2008 and in force since 27.11.2008.
2 See the notice in OJ EPO 2009, 603 concerning the reintroduction of a period of grace for the payment of extension fees.
3 Guidelines for Examination, A-III, 12.2.
4 See www.epo.org/patents/law/legal-texts/national-law-epc.html.