How to Search the European Patent Office Website

The European Patent Register

This article is going to focus on the European Patent Register and how to navigate to an individual European country that was selected during the validation process.  Let’s get started! Before I jump into the details of the European Patent Register, I want to clarify a few items. 

First, in this article, a European patent is abbreviated as an EP patent or filing. Any country designated during the grant process is an EP validated patent. 

Second, while I will discuss how to navigate to an EP validated country’s patent website, I will not be going into details within those individual websites.  I’m hoping to tackle the EP countries separately in future articles when discussing direct filings in the relevant country.

Smart Search

The European Patent Register, in my mind, is akin to PAIR (US Patent Office) with content but does include a few more search criteria.  I typically search via their Smart Search page as the interface is easy to use. 

While I use this webpage almost daily, when I was writing this article, I stumbled upon a quick 3:18 min video the EP patent office crafted that does a great job at highlighting the features.  There is a wealth of information in the EP Patent Register and they show you where to find relevant information.

Federated Register

One feature the video does not touch upon is the Federated European Patent Register (Federated Register).  However, the EP patent office does explain that:

“[t]he Federated Register view displays official bibliographic and legal status data relating to European patent documents in the national post-grant phase as made available to the EPO by the national offices of the designated states concerned…Only data from the designated contracting states which provide this service are shown.

The data provided includes:

  • the country code
  • the status of the patent document
  • the application number
  • the number under which it is published
  • the proprietor
  • the invalidation date
  • whether or not the patent is currently in force
  • when renewal fees were last paid
  • when the national register was last updated

National Patent Registers

Where available, there is also direct hyperlink access to the relevant national patent registers. This way, users can find out more about the document in the national phase. Again, links will be available only to the registers of those designated states which support the Federated Register. 

Please note that the respective national patent office is responsible for the accuracy and quality of the data displayed, including, but not limited to the completeness and fitness of the information for specific purposes.  For complete and authoritative information, please refer to the respective national patent register, e.g., by clicking the relevant country code.

Renewal Data

Now you may be wondering, doesn’t the legal status section of the EP Patent Register include the designated countries with hyperlinks to the relevant national patent register? If so, then why bother with the Federated Register?  My answer is the renewal data.  For a fair number of countries, clicking on the Federated Register section link gives you a comprehensive view of when the renewal was last paid for multiple EP validated countries without going to the relevant national patent register.  We decided to use the same example as the EP Patent Register video, however, our visual displays the Federated Register section.  From this page, you can quickly see that Belgium, Spain, Ireland, and the Netherlands are currently paid through 2017.  This page can save you precious time if you need to go through several EP families.

As the EP Patent Register stated, not all national patent offices subscribe to providing this information. However, using the direct hyperlinked country codes at the bottom of this page can get you to almost all the relevant national European countries.  Personally, I live on this page when I have my renewals hat on, so I hope this becomes your go-to page too.

How To Search Europen Patent Office Website 1

More Information

Now you know the treasures of the European Patent Office Website! I’m sure there are more. If you know of one I didn’t mention, please let us know or post on our LinkedIn page . If you found this valuable, we have some upcoming webinars that will cover the subject of patenting in different countries around the world. Black Hills IP hopes this content becomes a continuous flow of information that the IP community can rely and act on. We are the leaders in smarter IP data docketing.

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