After the government of the Republic of Slovenia deposited their instruments of accession to the European Patent Convention (EPC) on September 18, 2002, the EPC will accordingly enter into force for the Republic of Slovenia on December 1, 2002.
The European Patent Organisation will thus comprise the following 25 member states as from December 1, 2002:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
European patent applications filed on or after December 1, 2002 include the designation of Slovenia, because the prescribed Request for Grant form automatically includes the designation of all possible member states. However, it is not possible to designate Slovenia before that date (but its is still possible to extend European patent applications to Slovenia before that date).
To allow Slovenia to be designated, however, the EPO will accord European patent applications filed in November 2002 the filing date of December 1, 2002 if the applicant expressly requests that filing date when filing the application.
Since Slovenia is a PCT contracting state, nationals of Slovenia and persons having their principal place of business or residence in Slovenia will also be entitled, as of December 1, 2002, to file international applications with the European Patent Office as receiving Office. From December 1, 2002 it will not be possible by way of an international application to obtain a national patent in Slovenia but it will be possible only to obtain a European patent designating Slovenia. If the European patent designation box (“EP”) is selected in a PCT request filed on or after December 1, 2002, that designation will automatically include Slovenia.
The extension agreement between the Republic of Slovenia and the European Patent Organisation will terminate with the entry into force of the EPC in Slovenia on December 1, 2002.