The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced in a recent press release that the agreement on the validation of European patents between the EPO and Morocco will enter into force on March 1, 2015. With the recognition of the EPC, Morocco has become the first country which is not a member of the European Patent Organisation but gives the same legal effects to a European patent as a national patent on its territory.
With the entry into force of the agreement, it is thus possible to obtain patent protection in Morocco by having a European patent granted by the European Patent Office. A national granting procedure in Morocco is no longer necessary. However, in order to validate the European patent in Morocco, the payment of a so-called validation fee is necessary. The due date for paying the validation fee is the same as the due date for the payment of the fees for extending the European patent to any extension states (currently Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina), i.e. the time limit is 6 months from the notice of the publication of the European search report. For Euro-PCT applications the validation fee will be due at the time for entering of the application into the European phase before the EPO.
Taking into account the current EPC contracting states and extension states, including Morocco, a European patent can now provide patent protection in a total of 41 European and non-European countries.
Since 2010, the EPO has signed validation agreements with three non-EPC member states (see table below).
It can be expected that validation agreements will be concluded with further non-European countries.
|Country:||Agreement:||Signature date:||Time of entry into force:|
|Morocco (MA)||Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Patent Organisation on validation of European patents||December 17, 2010||March 1, 2015|
|Republic of Moldova (MD)||Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the European Patent Organisation on validation of European patents||October 16, 2013||November 1, 2015|
|Tunisia (TN)||Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tunisia and the European Patent Organisation on Validation of European patents||July 3, 2014||–|
Last time this table was updated: January 15, 2016.