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16 February 2023
At its 173rd meeting on 13 December 2022, the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation decided to extend an invitation to accede to the European Patent Convention (EPC) to the Republic of Moldova, that could make the complement of EPC contracting states 40 strong. Before acceding to the EPC, the Republic of Moldova will need to enact national legislation to facilitate its implementation and application. A timetable was not (yet) communicated.
The Republic of Moldova already has a long history of close co-operation with the European Patent Organisation. In 2013, the European Patent Organisation and Moldova signed a Validation Agreement that became effective on 1 November 2015. Since then, an applicant filing a European patent application (or a PCT application designating Europe) is able to validate the granted European patent in Moldova by paying a validation fee to the EPO within the same period as paying designation and extension fees.
When Moldova becomes a contracting state, it will be automatically designated along with the other 39 contracting states, without the need to pay a validation fee. Thus, payment of a single designation fee will then allow to seek protection in up to 40 different states, including all 27 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) as well as Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Türkiye, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Moldova.