2015 was the year when Scandinavia took two major steps towards full harmonisation of validation formalities in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway regarding translation requirements and payment of fixed fees rather than fees depending on the number of pages of a validated patent.
Re translation requirements, the major event was, of course, that the London Agreement entered into force for Norway on January 1 2015, meaning that, from then on, only the claims are to be translated into Norwegian for European patents granted after that date.
Another step re translation requirements took effect on April 1 2015 for Denmark and Norway and harmonised all the Scandinavian countries: if the language of proceedings of the European patent is English, only the translated parts are to be filed. If it is German or French, the specification is to be translated into English or the relevant national language and is to be filed along with the national-language translation of the claims.
Re fixed fees, Norway and Denmark introduced, on April 1 2015, fixed fees for validations, meaning that the fee payable no longer depends on the number of pages filed. Sweden led the way in this respect already when joining the London Agreement in 2008 and introduced a fixed publication fee covering a basic fee for publication of translation.
However, full harmonisation of fixed fees is still missing on one point: in Sweden the fixed fee applies only to the first eight pages, and a fee for publication of each started page of the application beyond the first eight pages remains.
The harmonisation of translation requirements and fixed fees provides two substantial advantages to European patent owners. It is now much easier to use one entry into Scandinavia and much less expensive to validate in Scandinavia.
The article was first published in Managing IP on 26 January 2016.