Lithuania intended to create the conditions needed for more intensive filing of patent applications and develop further infrastructure for an efficient patent system, therefore the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the European Patent Organisation signed agreement for extension of European Patent to Lithuania.

The agreement entered into force on 5 July 1994, therefore after that date applicant can file request for extension of European patent to Lithuania.

Really there are two stages of extension of European Patent to Lithuania.

First stage -- the request for extension.

The request for extension can be filed with any European patent application filed on or after 5 July 196. European patent application means an application for a European patent filed under the European Patent Convention, as well as an international application filed under the PCT for which the EPO acts as designated or elected Office and in which Lithuania is designated.

The request for extension can be withdrawn at any time. It shall be deemed withdrawn when the prescribed extension fee has not been paid in time or European patent application has been finally refused or withdrawn.

The extension fee must be paid to the EPO within time-limits provided under the EPC for the payment of designation fee.

Any request for extension shall be published by the Bureau as soon as possible after it has been transmitted by EPO. A published European Patent application shall provisionally confer the protection. In the case if request for extension has been withdrawn or is deemed withdrawn it is deemed not to have provisional protection.

Second stage- the final legalization of extended European patent in Lithuania.

Within three months from the date on which the mention of the grant of the European patent has been published, the owner of the patent shall furnish to the Lithuania State Patent Bureau translation of the claims of the European patent into the Lithuanian language. Together with translation of claims the fee for publication has to be paid and in the case if application has more than ten claims excess claim fee has to be paid.

If the translation is not filed in due time or the prescribed fee is not paid in due time, the extended European patent shall be deemed void ab initio.

An extended European patent shall confer the same rights as national patent.

The text of a European patent application or a European patent in the language of the proceedings before EPO shall be authentic text in any proceedings in Lithuania.

However, the translation of claims shall be regarded as authentic.

The Lithuania State patent Bureau keeps the Register of extended European patents and gives document, confirming the extension of European patent.

For maintenance of extended European patent the annual fee has to be paid. Renewal fees for extended European patent shall be paid to the Bureau for the years following the year in which the mention of the grant of the European patent was published.

Extended European patent gives the advantages for foreign applicants.

Generally the costs of getting patent protection in Lithuania by extension of European patent considerably reduces. Only extension fee must to be paid while professional representative's fee and specification's translation costs fall away.

The translation of claims only, gives advantage to applicant.

Furthermore, decreases the number of formal documents, required for filing national application, decreases the number of notifications and applicant save the time that is indispensable for reply.

Finally the scope of protection in all countries where the same European Patent is valid is the same.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general information. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.