Joff Wild

Things continue to move ahead in Europe. It looks like France has now formally ratified the London Agreement on Translations, meaning that it will be up and running at the beginning of May. Here is an unofficial, back of the envelope, translation of a report about this in the German media today:

London Agreement: France's Ratification Charter Sent to French Embassy in Berlin

According to the latest information, France’s ratification document/charter was sent to the French Embassy in Berlin yesterday, January 28. The ratification document is expected to arrive today and will then be forwarded immediately to the German Foreign Ministry to be officially filed.

As the London Protocol will come into force three months after this filing, the day in question is likely to be April 30 2008.

As yet, there is no notice confirming the ratification on either the EPO or the French patent office websites, so this has to be taken as unofficial news. However, if it is true, then the costs involved in applying for patent protection in Europe via the EPO will come down significantly.

It looks like 2008 is shaping up to be a big year in Europe. Not only will we have the London Agreement coming into force, but – as reported on this blog over the weekend – the French are also making optimistic noises about having an EU agreement on establishing a single patent jurisdiction for Europe by year’s end. Of course, that would still have to be implemented, but when you compare the optimism of today to the despair there was in so many quarters little more than a year ago in Europe, you have to say the turnaround has been remarkable.