The European Patent System Basics

A European patent is a temporary monopoly granted by the European patent office (hereinafter referred to as the EPO), to an inventor/applicant in return for disclosing the invention to the public in a patent specification.

The monopoly provides the patent owner with the exclusive right to exploit the invention. A patent is a right to stop others from exploiting an invention covered by the patent at the Contracting States as designated for a limited period of time. During this period, competitors are not allowed to manufacture, sell, import or use the invention without permission from the patent owner. In exchange for the right, the invention must be publicly disclosed in a patent specification. Apart from stopping competition, a patent applicant or owner can license the invention to someone else in return for royalty payments.

This site is intended to be an introduction to Europen Patent System. Its purpose is not be an exhaustive and complex source of knowledge about patent law in EU, specifically the European Patent, rather than a good start point for inventors, individual applicants or even major companies who might find the information presented herein useful.

Our company Daněk & Partners provides a comprehensive service in patents, trademarks, designs, copyright and other aspects of intellectual property registrations.

Technical qualifications and experience cover a wide range of technologies including electronics, computing, computer software, heavy engineering, electrical and mechanical engineering, textile technology, chemistry, biotechnology, microbiology, optics, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and nanotechnologies.

The patent-related services we provide to our clients include:

  • Developing and executing prosecution strategies not only to protect a client’s products, but also to analyse those of its competitors to help ensure that the client realizes value from its intellectual property assets;
  • Patent, Europatent, PCT and SPC Application Preparation and Prosecution;
  • Advise on whether a patent can be granted;
  • International patent protection and national phases;
  • Civil litigation at both the trial and appellate levels, including infringement and dilution cases, counterfeiting, grey-market goods, false advertising, and cyber squatting;
  • Industrial Property Office and European Patent Office litigation, including oppositions and cancellation proceedings;
  • Preparing and negotiating licenses, assessing the licensing value of competitors’ patents, and guiding the client in the decision to license;
  • Monitoring the field to know when a client needs a clearance opinion or has a potential interference issue. These efforts can help direct the client in research and development areas that minimize patent obstacles;
  • Providing counsel on business-related matters, including antitrust and competition issues;
  • Advising on potential litigation strategies, and, when necessary, deploying experienced trial and appellate teams;

Our major area of endeavor is patent application work, including patent searching, preparation and filing of patent applications in the Czech Republic Industrial Property Office in the European Patent Office and through Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

We will work with you to determine the optimum strategy for obtaining protection. This includes advice concerning the use of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in order to defer costs and maintain the maximum flexibility in selecting the countries where protection is to be sought. We also offer a full “national phase” service in all member states of the EPC for clients seeking patent protection through that Convention.

We have technical specialists in virtually every field where patents may be obtained. We can also advise on analogous rights and know-how in such areas as computer software, bio-tech, plant patent, utility model, copyright and design right issues.

Vilém Daněk
European Patent and Trademark Attorney