March 08, 2010

On Wednesday, March 3, 2010, the European Patent Office (EPO) announced that the Government of the Republic of Albania had deposited its instrument of accession to the European Patent Convention (EPC) on February 11, 2010, so that as of May 1, 2010, the EPC will enter into force for Albania. According to the EPO announcement (link HERE), and as of May 1, Albanian applicants shall be entitled to file PCT applications with the EPO as receiving office, and any PCT request filed on or after that date will automatically designate Albania for the purposes of obtaining a European patent. One caveat, according to the announcement, is that "[n]o European patents for Albania can be granted on the basis of international applications with a filing date prior to 1 May 2010," but that "a national patent can be granted, assuming that Albania has been designated in the international application." Furthermore, "[t]he designation of Albania at the time an international application with a filing date prior to 1 May 2010 enters the European phase is legally invalid." As of May 1, 2010, the European Patent Organization will comprise the following 37 member states: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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