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Montenegro will become the 39th EPC Contracting State on 1 October 2022

The EPO has announced that Montenegro will become the 39th member state of the European Patent Organisation, effective from 1 October 2022.

The practical result of this development is that it will no longer be necessary to pay an extension fee to pursue protection in Montenegro for European patent applications with a filing date on or after 1 October 2022. For such applications, paying a single designation fee will allow protection to be sought in up to 39 different countries, including Montenegro.

The relevant date for European regional phase applications is the international filing date of the underlying PCT application. Thus, if protection in Montenegro is desired based on PCT applications with a filing date prior to 1 October 2022, it will continue to be necessary to pay an extension fee for Montenegro on European regional phase entry.

Bosnia and Herzegovina remains available as an extension state. There are also validation agreements in force with Morocco, the Republic of Moldova, Tunisia and Cambodia, and Georgia is set to join this list as previously reported here. Once the validation agreement with Georgia enters into force, protection in 45 countries will potentially be available from each European patent application.

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