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European patent

Definition : European patent

A European patent application can be filed with the EPO, so that the applicant can obtain protection in several European countries designated at the time of filing, and so that examination of the application is centralized. Once the patent has been granted, each national office concerned (e.g. INPI) will issue the national (e.g. French) part of the European patent.

From the moment it is filed with the EPO, a French patent gives its owner a temporary reservation of exploitation of his invention throughout the national territory for a maximum period of 20 years, subject to the grant of the patent and payment of annual maintenance fees.

A patent attorney will be involved in contracts relating to European patents, as well as in litigation (patent infringement action, preliminary injunction action, cancellation action, employee inventions).