On 1 December 2006, the Government of the Republic of Malta deposited its
instrument of accession to the European Patent Convention (EPC) and to the Act
revising the EPC of 29 November 2000 (Revision Act). Malta joined both the
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the European Patent Convention (EPC), with
effect from March 1, 2007. This implies that Malta can only be designated on or
after March 1, 2007.
By virtue of the EPC, a European Patent shall, in each of the contracting states
for which it is granted, have the effect of and be subject to the same
conditions as a national patent granted by Malta, unless otherwise provided in
the EPC. Thus a European patent designating Malta shall:
• be equivalent to a regular national application
• grant the same rights as a patent granted by the Maltese IP Office
• claim priority of the European patent application.
The fact that the EPC provides for a single application procedure for patent
protection in EPC contracting states, ensures that costs are reduced and the
procedure is less time consuming.
Malta has prescribed that in the event of failure to observe the relevant
Maltese provisions, the European patent shall be deemed to be void as from the
point of its registration. There are documentation procedures which need to be
followed in order to file an application for a European Patent, including
submission of the following documents:
the filing of translation documents
the designation of a local representative
the filing of the relative POA
the original European patent application and specification.
The Maltese legislation by virtue of Legal Notice 99 of 2007 provides for a
system of simultaneous protection in that in cases where a European patent
designating Malta and a national patent have the same filing date or the same
priority date and both patents cover the same invention, the national patent
will have no effect if no opposition has been filed within the prescribed
The EPO does not grant a unitary right, instead it grants a set of independent
national patents. When a European Patent Application designating Malta is
granted, what is conferred is a national patent.
In order to assist with the above process, it is important to appoint a local
representative to take care of all formalities and assist with these filings.
Our firm is in a position to assist in this regard. For more information about
the Malta European patent validation process,
contact us at your convenience.