Montenegro Changing from EPC Extension State to EPC Member State
From the 1st October 2022 Montenegro (ME) will be an EPC member state, thereby bringing the total number of EPC member states to 39.
Since the 1st March 2010 Montenegro has been an extension state of the EPC. Montenegro’s joining of the EPC does not also extend to joining the forthcoming Unitary Patent system.
The other current EPC extension state is Bosnia & Herzegovina (BA). The following non-EPC states have enacted validation agreements with the EPO, thereby allowing European patents to be validated therein: Cambodia (KH); Morocco (MA); the Republic of Moldova (MD); and Tunisia (TN). Georgia (GE) has signed a validation agreement with the EPO, but it has yet to bring the agreement into force. Historically, extension agreements were made with European states that were not members of the EPC. However, since 2010 the EPO has used validation agreements, which are not limited to European states that are not members of the EPC.
In addition, while not having a validation agreement with the EPO, the following non-EPC states allow the re-registration of European patents: the Democratic Republic of Congo (CD); Ethiopia (ET); Guernsey (GG); Macao (MO); and Nepal (NP). There are also numerous Commonwealth countries that allow for the re-registration of European patents that have been validated in the UK.
Author: Quinn Miller