By Kevin E. Noonan --
The President of the EPO and the Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and the Digital Economy of Morocco announced on January 19th that Morocco would permit EP applications and granted EP patents to be validated in that country beginning on March 1, 2015. Upon request from an applicant, Morocco will validate a granted EP patents and recognize pending EP applications (which would then be eligible for validation upon grant) with the payment of a fee to the EPO to designate Morocco. This route to patent protection is not retroactive, however, and will only be available to EP and PCT applications filed after March 1st. Patents granted through such a route will have the same protections as in the other members of the European Patent Organization.
This is the first non-European country to offer patent protection based on examination by the EPO.
Hat tip to our foreign associates HGF.
Image of Morocco flag map (above) from Mapsof.net under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 Licence.