Extension of European Patents now available in Croatia
On April 1st, 2004, the Co-operation and Extension Agreement between Croatia and the European Patent Office entered into force.
The agreement in question comes shortly after the enforcement of a new Croatian Patent Law on January 1, 2004, which confirmed Croatian interest to have its patent practice fully harmonized with EU legislation
Under the Co-operation and Extension Agreement, all protections conferred by the European patent applications and patents will extend to Croatia without any subsequent examination. The European patents extended to Croatia will have the same effect as national patents granted in the territory of Croatia. However, it is important to note that extensions to Croatia will be available only for European patent applications and international patent applications (entering European regional phase) filed on or after April 1, 2004 and for which the extension fee has been paid to the European Patent Office.
Regarding the filing procedure, the applicant should file the request for an extension within 3 months from the publication of the mention of grant of the European Patent in the European Patent Bulletin. To be valid, this request should also be accompanied with a translation of the patent claims in Croatian. This procedure is similar to the procedures in Albania, Latvia, Lithuania and Macedonia, countries recognized as extension states.
Although the extension of the European patents to Croatia will become the most advantageous patent filing procedure, the option of entering the national phase directly before the Croatian IP Office will remain available for any international application for which Croatia has been designated or elected.
For more details on the extension of the European patents to Croatia or the new Croatian Patent Law, please contact us.