Georgia Set to Allow Validation of European Patents as National Patents
It has been announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) has signed an agreement with the government of Georgia to enable European patents to be validated in Georgia. The validation agreement will enter into force once it has been adopted into Georgian law. A date for this has not yet been provided.
Georgia will not be a member of the EPC, nor a so-called extension state. Instead, the validation agreement is a bilateral arrangement between the EPO and the government of Georgia. Similar bilateral agreements are already in force enabling validation of European patents in Morocco, Moldova, Tunisia and Cambodia.
The practical result of this announcement is that, once the agreement comes into force, it will be possible to cover up to 45 countries with a single European patent application. Although details have not yet been provided, we expect the Georgian validation agreement to be similar in practice to the existing validation agreements with Morocco, Moldova, Tunisia and Cambodia. Specifically, once the agreement has come into force, any applicant filing a European patent application (or a PCT application designating Europe) will be able to pursue protection in Georgia by paying a validation fee for Georgia to the EPO within the same period as for paying designation and extension fees.
The EPO's announcement can be seen here.