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Patent Protection in Europe

Applying for a patent in the United Kingdom (UK) does not protect it elsewhere in Europe.

If your application contains information about military technology, or could harm national security or public safety, you must request permission to apply for a patent abroad.

To protect your patent in more than 30 countries in Europe, you can apply using the European Patent Convention (EPC). You can apply through us or the European Patent Office (EPO) External Link, but the EPO will process all the applications. This is processed as a single application, but once granted it becomes separate patents in the countries you designate.

You can get protection in individual countries in Europe by applying to the national office of each country. This is advisable if you only want protection in a few countries. You should get advice from the national patent office External Link of any country you want protection in.

You can claim priority from an existing patent application if you apply abroad within 12 months of your original application. Your later application will be treated as if you applied on the same date as the original application.

You can also get protection in Europe using the Patents Co-operation Treaty (PCT) through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

You may have to file translations of your patent application in order to obtain patent protection in certain countries.