On October 1, 2022, Montenegro became the 39th member state of the European Patent Organisation (EPO), meaning that Montenegro will automatically be included as a designated state for European patents filed on or after October 1, 2022. It is no longer necessary to pay the extension fee.
While it is not possible to designate Montenegro retroactively in applications filed before October 1, 2022, it was possible for applicants who filed applications in September 2022 to request that EPO indicates October 1, 2022 as their filing date in order to include Montenegro as a designated state.
The validation process for European patents designating Montenegro, whether they were filed between March 10, 2010 and September 30, 2022, when Montenegro was an Extension State, or starting from October 1, 2022, when Montenegro became a Contracting State, remains unchanged. Once the patent is granted, three months from the publication of the EPO B1 document (European patent specification – granted patent), applicants have to file a validation request for Montenegro, including a translation of the patent claims and drawings, if any, and a Power of Attorney. The patent will be valid in Montenegro for a maximum of 20 years from the application filing date, as long as the annuities are paid before the Montenegrin IPO in a timely manner.
Another advantage of Montenegro becoming an EPO member state is that Montenegrin nationals and persons with a business registered in Montenegro can now file patent applications before EPO. The applications can be filed directly before EPO or before the Montenegrin IPO, which will deliver the documents to EPO, local media writes.