An invention is a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
It requires specialized knowledge and skilfulness of the inventor. However, it can easily and quickly be imitated or reproduced when unprotected, causing damage to the legal owners.
A Patent is a title of protection granted to the inventor or beneficiary of any invention which is
- New – that means that, prior to the date of filing of an application for protection, the invention was not already known to the public in any form (written, oral or through use). Consequently, it is advisable for the inventor to file the application first and make the new idea public afterwards,
- Involves an inventive step – that means that in the light of what is already known to the public, the new idea is not obvious to a person with average knowledge of the technical field, and
- Susceptible to industrial application – that means that it can be made or used in any kind of “industry”, including agriculture, as distinct from purely intellectual or aesthetic activity.
The owner of a Patent is granted the exclusive right to make full use of it and, without the Patent owner’s consent, the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed or sold.
The Industrial Property Organisation (www.obi.gr) is the only official body for filing a Patent application in Greece. A Patent is protected from the date of its application and its duration in Greece is 20 years, provided that the proper annuities are paid in time (from the 3rd year of the application date).
We undertake all cases relating to the protection of any kind of Patent, namely National Patents, European Patents and Patents that have been granted after the filing of an International Patent application, such us the following:
- Processing of National/European/International Patent applications (PCT) in Greece or abroad in countries all over the world
- Watching Patents and payment of annuities
- Litigating in Courts and protecting Patents against infringements
- Conducting searches on issued Patents
- Recording assignments, changes of name or seat of the owner etc.
- Translating technical or other documents
We have the possibility of secure electronic communication with the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich, where European Patent applications are filed. Furthermore, we use the service of espacenet (worldwide.espacenet.com) – provided by the European Patent Office – for conducting searches and for obtaining information relating to the existing Patents.
For technical matters we secure the cooperation of prominent technical authorities. We translate documents in any field, such as physics and chemistry, electrical and mechanical engineering, biology etc.
National Patent applications are filed with the country where the applicant wishes his invention to be protected. With reference to Greece, this application is filed with the Organization of Industrial Property (www.obi.gr).
European Patent (EP) applications are filed with the European Patent Office (www.epo.org) in Munich. By filing the applicant a single EP application in one of the three official languages (English, French and German) it is possible to obtain invention protection in 44 countries. The procedure of the protection is completed with the filing of the relevant translation of the invention text in the designated countries which request it.
The European Patent application has, from the date of filing the application with the European Patent Office, the effect in the designated countries of a regular National filing.
The countries where a EP can be protected are the following:
the 39 Countries that have signed the European Patent Convention (“EPC”), namely
Status in June 2023
|MK||Republic of North Macedonia||RO||Romania|
and the countries of: Bosnia and Herzegovina (extension state) and Morocco, Republic of Moldova, Cambodia, Tunisia (validation states).
EUROPEAN UNITARY PATENTS
On June 1, 2023 the Unitary Patent (UP) system came into force. The Unitary Patent has unitary effect in all EU countries participating in the Unitary Patent system and is obtained through the European Patent Office in the usual way, i.e., by filing a European Patent application at the European Patent Office and prosecuting the application to grant.
Currently, the contracting member states include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden. Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Romania and Slovakia have agreed to participate but have not yet ratified the necessary legislation. Unitary Patents granted prior to each’s ratification does not have effect there, but it is expected that these EU countries will join the Unitary Patent system soon. The EU countries Spain, Poland and Croatia will not join.
The Unified Patent Court (UPC) has exclusive jurisdiction over questions of infringement and invalidity of the Unitary Patent.
Countries that are covered by the European Patent Convention, but are not EU member states (such as Norway, Switzerland and the UK), are not participating in the UPC and are not covered by the Unitary Patent. Neither is possible for existing patent rights in these countries to be tested under the UPC system. Patent protection for these countries must continue to be sought either nationally or via “classic” European Patent applications, where national procedure is required in each designated country after grant.
INTERNATIONAL PATENT APPLICATIONS
The filing of the International Patent application aims at the simultaneous (through a single application) seeking of an invention protection in each of a large number of countries all over the world under the Patent Co-operation Treaty (the “PCT”). The International Patent application has, from the date of application, the effect of a National Patent application in those PCT Contracting States which the applicant designates. It has the effect of a European Patent application in those among the PCT Contracting States which are also party to the European Patent Convention, provided that they are designated for a European Patent.
The applicant needs to file a single International Patent application with the International Bureau in Geneva (www.wipo.int). Alternatively, he can file it with his national Patent Office which will act as a PCT “Receiving Office” or, if he is a national or resident of a country party to the European Patent Convention, with the European Patent Office (www.epo.org) in Munich, if permitted by his national law.
STATES THAT CAN BE DESIGNATED IN AN INTERNATIONAL PATENT APPLICATION (under the PATENT CO-OPERATION TREATY)
Status in June 2023
|Angola||Libyan Arab Jamahiriya|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Liechtenstein|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Monaco|
|Central African Republic||Nigeria|
|Colombia||Papua New Guinea|
|Cuba||Republic of Korea|
|Cyprus||Republic of Moldova|
|Czech Republic||Republic of North Macedonia|
|Democratic People's Republic of Korea||Romania|
|Dominica||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Dominican Republic||Saint Lucia|
|Ecuador||Saint Vincent and Grenadines|
|El Salvador||San Marino|
|Equatorial Guinea||Sao Tome & Principe|
|Honduras||Syrian Arab Republic|
|Indonesia||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Jamaica||United Arab Emirates|
|Jordan||United Republic of Tanzania|
|Kazakhstan||United States Of America|
|Lao People's Democratic Republic||Zimbabwe|
Total: 157 countries/regions