The patent grant procedure carried out by the European Patent Office (EPO) offers protection on regional level for the countries which are members of the European Patent Organisation. Such regional patent system enables filing of a one patent application in one locality having a contemporaneous legal effect in several countries.
The European Patent is granted in a procedure carried out by the European Patent Office (EPO) under the European Patent Convention. The European patent application may be filed directly with the European Patent Office (EPO), or with the State Intellectual Property Office.
The European patent application is published in the official journal of the European Patent Office following the expiry of 18 months from the priority date. Such publication is preceded by the formal examination of a patent application, and if possible, state of the art search for novelty. The respective search report, if available, is published with the application.
The substantive examination procedure is carried out upon the applicant’s request. When granted, the European patent has identical effect on the territory of countries indicated in the application. A decision on the patent grant have legal effects from the date of patent grant publication in the European Patent Convention: Official Journal, and from that date a nine-month term is running in which oppositions may be filed against granted European patent.
The European patent has legal effects in the Republic of Croatia after having met all the requirements for its entry in the European Patent Register, prescribed in the Patent Act.
Taking into account complexity of the EPO procedure and the respective fees it is recommended to seek assistance of a professional representative.