Applying for a patent in the UK does not protect it elsewhere in Europe.
If your application contains information about military technology, or could harm nationalÂ security or public safety, you must request permission to apply for a patent abroad. To protectÂ your patent in more than 30 countries in Europe, you can apply using the European PatentÂ Convention (EPC). You can apply through the European Patent Office (EPO). This is processed as aÂ single application, but once granted it becomes separate patents in the countries you designate.
You can get protection in individual countries in Europe by applying to the national office ofÂ each country. This is advisable if you only want protection in a few countries. You should getÂ advice from the National Patents Office of any country you want protection in.
You can claim priority from an existing patent application if you apply abroad within 12 months ofÂ your original application. Your later application will be treated as if you applied on the sameÂ date as the original application. The EPO is running a pilot Project to speed up EuropeanÂ applications claiming priority from applications that we have already searched.
You can also get protection in Europe using the Patents Co-Operation Treaty (PCT) through theÂ World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). However, you may have to file translations ofÂ your patent application in order to obtain patent protection in certain countries.