It is advisable to file a European patent application (EPC Application) when the company operates on the European market. A European patent may be granted for up to 40 European countries. . The application is processed by the European Patent Office, which also grants the patent. The application itself may, however, be filed with the National Board of Patents and Registration. As is this case with international patent applications, the result is a number of national patents. Thus, following granting of the patent, it must be enforced in the relevant countries. A common requirement is that the application be translated into the language of the country in question, and delivered to the local patent office
The application may initially be filed in Finnish, and translated into English, German or French within a month. The application must list the countries in which the patent is applied for. The examination is then carried out in two stages. Firstly, the applicant is provided with a novelty search report, informing the applicant of possible obstacles to patentability. If the applicant wishes to continue with the application procedure, he/she will be provided with a patentability statement regarding the invention. Prior to granting of the patent, the patent claims must be translated into two additional languages depending on the language of the application (German, French or English). Information regarding fees and payment can be found on the website of the National Board of Patents and Registration (see below). It is advisable to consult a patent attorney when applying for a European patent.