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Georgia becomes a validation state at the European Patent Office

By: Paola Rua

February 7, 2024

On January 15, 2024, the agreement signed by the European Patent Office (EPO) and Georgia came into force, through which inventors and applicants have the option to validate in this country their patent applications and patents granted by the European Office. This agreement marks an important milestone for both Georgia and the EPO, as it strengthens international cooperation in the field of intellectual property and promotes innovation in the region.

This designation also provides patent applicants with greater accessibility to the Georgian market, which will encourage investment and technology transfer in the country. It will also strengthen Georgia’s position as an attractive destination for foreign investment and collaboration in research and development.

Georgia thus becomes the fifth validation state, along with Morocco, the Republic of Moldova, Tunisia, and Cambodia. This means that, together with Bosnia and Herzegovina as an extension state and the 39 signatory states of the European Patent Convention, there are now 45 states in which protection can be obtained from a single European patent application.

The validation of a European patent in Georgia is possible for both direct and Euro-PCT applications filed on or after January 15, 2024. In the case of Euro-PCTs, the filing date of the international application shall be taken into account. In order to validate the European patent in Georgia, it will be necessary to have previously designated this country and to have paid before the EPO the designation fee of 200 € within the corresponding time limit (6 months from the publication of the application for direct European applications and at the time of filing of the European application with the EPO for Euro-PCT applications). Then, once the European patent is granted, the validation fee must be paid and the translation of the patent specification into Georgian must be filed with the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia (Sakpatenti).

It should be recalled that the selection of specific countries to validate a European patent involves a strategic process that considers several factors. Below are some important aspects to consider when choosing validation states:

  • Market demand: It is crucial to identify markets where patented inventions are expected to have a high commercialization potential. This involves analyzing key industries, market trends, and country-specific needs.
  • Protection potential: it is recommended to select countries where intellectual property protection is strong, and where patents granted by the EPO are recognized and respected. This ensures that inventions are adequately protected against infringement and unfair competition.
  • Legal and administrative infrastructure: It is important to consider the legal and administrative infrastructure of each country, including the efficiency and capacity of the national patent offices to process and enforce patents granted by the EPO.
  • Costs and procedures: it is advisable to evaluate the costs and procedures associated with patent validation in each country. This includes validation fees, document translation, and other administrative costs that may vary from country to country.
  • Expansion potential: When selecting validation states, it is also important to consider the potential for future expansion into other markets. This may involve the selection of neighboring countries or strategic regions where economic growth and demand for innovative products and services are expected.
  • Commercial and intellectual property strategy: The selection of validation states should be aligned with the business and intellectual property strategy of the patent-holding company. This may involve prioritizing certain countries based on business objectives, strategic partnerships, and other company-specific factors.

Thus, the decision on validation states is complex and involves several factors, which companies must consider in order to ensure informed decision-making, and thus maximize the value of their patents in international markets.

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