On 15 January 2024 the validation agreement between the European Patent Organisation (EPO) and Georgia entered into force. Georgia now joins the four other non-EPO member states Morocco, Republic of Moldova, Tunisia, and Cambodia to become one of the “Validation States” of the EPO.
With the current agreement’s entry into force and the extension agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina, the number of countries for which patent protection can be obtained on the basis of a single European patent application rises to 45. Applicants can now effectively obtain patent protection in Georgia using the same procedure before the EPO as for obtaining national patents in the 39 member states.
Procedure for Validation States
Under ‘normal’ EPO practice, contracting member states at the time of filing of the European patent application are deemed to be designated in the request for grant for a European patent. Within six-months of the date of mention of publication of the search report a Designation Fee must be paid, otherwise the application is deemed withdrawn.
Georgia, although now a “Validation State” is not a contracting member of the European Patent Convention, which means that it is not automatically considered to be designated on filing and is not covered by the Designation Fee. Therefore, on filing the European patent application the applicant must file a separate request to include Georgia in the list of countries covered under the patent application. The same applies to the other Validation States and to the Extension State (Bosnia and Herzegovina) if it is desired for the geographic coverage to include these countries. Practically, this is achieved by marking in the Request for Grant form that the applicant intends to validate in Georgia (and/or any other Validation/Extension State).
Consequently, a separate Validation Fee for Georgia is due. Please note that validation of the European patent application in each of the five Validation States incurs a separate Validation Fee for each State. Likewise, an Extension Fee is payable if the Extension State is selected.
Deadline for Validation Fee
For European patent applications, the deadline for the Validation Fee(s) is the same as the period for payment of the Designation Fee, which is either on filing of the application or within six-months of the date of the mention of publication of the search report.
For Euro PCT applications, the deadline will be within the period for performing the acts required for entry of an international application into the European phase, or within six-months of the date of publication of the international search report, whichever is the later.
If you wish to discuss this further with one of our patent attorneys, please do not hesitate to reach out via the contact form on our website, or by the other contact methods listed.