European application for patents
The European Patent Convention, EPC, enables the applicant, by means of a single application, to obtain a patent in most of the European countries. Iceland became a party to the Convention on 1 November 2004 and, as result, the procedure can be initiated in the Icelandic Patent Office.
The entire application procedure is handled by the European Patent Office (EPO). Once the EPO has granted a patent, it must be validated in the countries designated by the applicant through the payment of a renewal fee in each country and, in some cases, by paying national fees and submitting translations of parts of the patent.
European applications filed on 1 November 2004 or later apply automatically to Iceland if the applicant designates all member states. The same applies to PCT applications where the EPO is designated.
When the EPO grants a patent, an announcement to such effect is published in the European Patent Bulletin.
Opposition to a European patent shall be filed with the EPO within 9 months of the granting of a patent. Appeals against final decisions issued by the EPO may be made to the EPO Appeals Committee within 2 months of the issue of the decision. Violations of European patents valid in Iceland shall be subject to Icelandic laws. Icelandic courts are responsible for resolving such cases.
Validation of a European patent in Iceland
The following must be filed with the Icelandic Patent Office within four months of the date EPO published notification of granting the patent in order to confirm a European patent in Iceland, cf. Article 77 of the Patents Act:
- Publication fee, as provided for in the list of fees.
- An Icelandic translation of the patent claims.
- In the event that the patent was granted in French or German, an Icelandic or English translation of the description and other parts of the patent must be filed (it is not necessary to file a translation of the description and other parts of the patent if the patent was granted in English).
- Information on the patent's number and the name and address of the patent holder.
An applicant from a member state does not need an agent with respect to the EPO. However, if an agent is appointed, such agent must be a specially trained representative who is registered with the EPO. Furthermore, applicants who do not reside in Iceland must have an agent to act on their behalf with respect to the Icelandic Patent Office, until the patent's take effect in Iceland.