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Translation Requirements for Validation of European Patents

A patent that has been granted by the European Patent Office may subsequently be made effective in any of the countries for which a designation, extension or validation fee has been paid. This process is commonly known as “validation” of the European patent. Some countries impose translation requirements as part of the validation procedure. In general, any required translations must be submitted within three months of the grant date of the patent.

The translation requirements imposed vary significantly between the different countries. The majority of European patents are in English, and for such patents, the following requirements apply:

  1. Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Switzerland, Tunisia and the United Kingdom have no post-grant translation requirements.
  2. Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Slovenia require translations of the claims of the patent (but not the entire specification) in the appointed language to be filed.
  3. Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey require a translation of the entire specification in the appointed language to be filed. This includes a translation of the sequence listing, if one is present.

The attached annex sets out the requirements for each country, including the appointed language where relevant. As is evident from the annex, in some countries it is possible to re-use a translation prepared for another country with the same appointed language. For example, a Greek translation can be used in both Greece and Cyprus, an Italian translation can be used in both Italy and San Marino, a Croatian translation can be used in both Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, a Serbian translation can be used in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina, and a Romanian translation can be used in both Romania and Moldova.

Annex – translation requirements for European patents in English

Country Code Country Translation Requirement
AL Albania Claims only into Albanian
AT Austria Full text into German
BA Bosnia & Herzegovina Claims only into Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian
BE Belgium No translation needed
BG Bulgaria Full text into Bulgarian
CH/LI Switzerland/Liechtenstein No translation needed
CY Cyprus Full text into Greek
CZ Czech Republic Full text into Czech
DE Germany No translation needed
DK Denmark Claims only into Danish
EE Estonia Full text into Estonian
ES Spain Full text into Spanish
FI Finland Claims only into Finnish
FR France No translation needed
GB United Kingdom No translation needed
GR Greece Full text into Greek
HR Croatia Claims only into Croatian
HU Hungary Claims only into Hungarian
IE Ireland No translation needed
IS Iceland Claims only into Icelandic
IT Italy Full text into Italian
KH Cambodia Claims only into Khmer
LT Lithuania Claims only into Lithuanian
LU Luxembourg No translation needed
LV Latvia Claims only into Latvian
MA Morocco No translation needed
MC Monaco No translation needed
MD Moldova Full text into Romanian
ME Montenegro Claims only into Montenegrin[i]
MK Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Claims only into Macedonian
MT Malta No translation needed
NL Netherlands Claims only into Dutch
NO Norway Claims only into Norwegian
PL Poland Full text into Polish
PT Portugal Full text into Portuguese
RO Romania Full text into Romanian
RS Serbia Full text into Serbian
SE Sweden Claims only into Swedish
SI Slovenia Claims only into Slovene
SK Slovakia Full text into Slovak
SM San Marino Full text into Italian
TN Tunisia No translation needed
TR Turkey Full text into Turkish


[i] Although Montenegrin and Serbian are officially different languages, there has not yet been any significant divergence since Montenegro gained independence from Serbia. A Serbian translation of the claims can therefore be used in Montenegro (as well as in Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina).