The bulk of our work involves prosecution and enforcement of patents for our domestic clients. However, we also work for international clients in patent matters, in particular in Europe and in Sweden. Sweden has ratified most patent related agreements, including the Paris Convention, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Patent Law Treaty (PLT), the European Patent Convention (EPC), the London Agreement on translations of granted European Patents, and TRIPS.
National Swedish Patent Applications – prior art searches
Being authorized Swedish patent attorneys, we can of course help in filing Swedish national patent applications. Such an application can be filed with a specification in Swedish or English, and it will be searched and examined on the basis of such specifications and claims. The workload of the Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV) is balanced, and we normally receive a first Office Action, including a search report and an assessment of patentability, within about 6 months from the date of filing. The filing fee is moderate, and there is no extra fee for search or examination.
Before 16 months from the priority date, the specification and claims must be translated into Swedish. Note, however, that no translation into Swedish is necessary to obtain a search report.
PRV is a PCT authority, and the quality of search and examination is generally regarded to be of a high standard. The Office follows the practice of the EPO, and the search and examination results are therefore of value when prosecuting parallel patent applications in other jurisdictions.
International Patent Applications under the PCT
PRV is competent to handle PCT applications where the applicant is Swedish or at least one of the inventors is a Swedish resident. We file such international applications frequently, under Chapter I and also under Chapter II. PRV has always shown a positive and constructive attitude towards entering into a dialogue with the applicant during the international phase, after demanding international preliminary examination.
We frequently file amendments under Article 34 of the PCT and request oral proceedings with PRV as International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) in order to arrive at a positive International Preliminary Report on Patentability. Of course, such a positive report is of great help when subsequently entering the national phase in various jurisdictions, especially in jurisdictions where the national Office has no facilities for conducting substantive examination.
Our own office is located at walking distance from PRV, why such communications and oral proceedings are easily carried out.
We are also authorized to represent clients before the European Patent Office (EPO), even in its capacity as International Searching Authority (ISA) and IPEA. Thus, we can represent clients in PCT applications also before the EPO.
European Patent Applications under the EPC
Ever since the EPO started operating in 1978, we have represented our clients with respect to a large number of European Patent applications. Our patent attorneys are European Patent Attorneys, and are as such entitled to handle applications before the EPO. Also, we closely follow the development of EPO practice, since our partner, Lennart Karlström, is involved in the FICPI EUCOF commission handling such matters, and stays in regular contact with the EPO and the European Commission.
The practice of the EPO is very similar to the established practice of our national patent Office (PRV). In our own office, we master a wide range of languages, ranging from the Nordic languages Swedish, Norwegian and Danish, to English, French, German and Italian.
Validation of Granted European Patents in Sweden
Since 2008, the London Agreement is effective in Sweden. Therefore, in case there is an English text, only the claims need to be translated into Swedish. We frequently handle such validation cases, including translation of the granted claims into Swedish, payment of a publication fee and registering our firm as the Swedish representative before the Swedish Patent Office. Normally, as an option, we also monitor and effect payments of annuities for the Swedish part of the patent, using the services of our jointly owned company, Patrafee AB.
Since only the claims have to be translated, the validation costs in Sweden are relatively low.
We have substantial in-house experience in IP litigation in Swedish courts. Consequently, we know what is actually required by a patent when it really matters and has to be enforced. Of course, this is very important both when drafting patent applications and when assessing patents held by third parties and, of course, when enforcing our clients’ patent rights.
Cooperation with IP Attorneys at Law
We have a continuous cooperation with IP Law firms in Sweden, handling litigation and complicated legal matters. Accordingly, we can offer the assistance of such firms, including a number of well reputed attorneys at law whom we know personally and who have solid experience in IP litigation and related matters.