Albania Accedes to European Patent Convention and Patent Law Treaty
On February 11, 2010, Albania deposited its instrument of accession to the European Patent Convention (EPC), which will enter into force in Albania on May 1, 2010. Albania will thus become the 37th contracting state of the EPC.
Albania became an extension state to the European Patent Organization (EPO) on February 1, 1996.
As of May 1, 2010, with the inclusion of Albania, the EPC will provide a uniform application procedure for individual inventors and companies seeking patent protection in up to 40 European countries (37 contracting states and 3 extension states). Albanian residents will also be entitled to file international applications with the EPO.
The extension agreement between Albania and the EPO will expire once the EPC enters into force in Albania. The extension system will however continue to apply to all European and international patent applications filed before May 1, 2010.
The new member state will only be designated as a contracting state in European patent applications filed on or after May 1, 2010. It will not be possible to designate Albania retroactively in applications filed before that date. However, on European patent applications filed in April 2010, the EPO will be able to enter the filing date of May 1, 2010, upon applicant’s request.
On a different subject, on February 17, 2010, Albania acceded to the Patent Law Treaty, adopted in Geneva on June 1, 2000. The treaty will enter into force in Albania on May 17, 2010.
The Treaty is designed to harmonize and streamline formal procedures set by national or regional patent offices for the filing and maintenance of patents.
Source: EPO; WIPO
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