The Federated Register is one of the services of the European Patent Office that provides information regarding the legal status of European patents after the grant procedure. It is launched in 2015 and available at the Patent Register (epo.org/register).
Currently, 34 member states (AT, BE, BG, CH, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LI, LT, LU, MC, MK, MT, NL, NO, PL, PT, RO, RS, SE, SI, SK, TR), 1 extension state (BA) and 1 validation state (MD) provide the deep linking service, i.e. direct link to their national patent registers.
Deep linking was actually available for some countries starting from 2012 on the “legal status” tab of the Patent Register before the launch of the Federated Register. It provides quicker and easier access to the websites of National Offices. This allows obtaining up-to- date information regarding the status of patents directly from the national register.
Since each member state has its own online specific service, the content of the data obtained from the national registers may change from country to country. Nevertheless, all of the member states at least provide the basic information regarding the status of the European patent in that state i.e. whether it is validated or not.
It should be emphasized that the decisions of the National Courts or the Opposition/Appeal Divisions of the EPO regarding the validity of the patent might not be obtained from the national registers. Therefore, it would be safe to further investigate the file where necessary.
The second phase of the Federated Register is federated retrieval. Not all states which provide deep linking also provide federated retrieval. The National Register’s of 29 member states and 1 extension state provide integration in Federated Register.
If the designated state only provides deep linking but not federated retrieval, that state will not be listed on the Federated Register. In such case it will be shown at the end of the same page under the title “National patent registers” for the direct link.
Federated retrieval provides the following information: the status, application number, publication number, proprietor, invalidation date, not in force since, renewal fees last paid and record last updated. Some of the national registers also contain the SPC data which is accessible via direct link to their websites.
Despite there is room for further improvement, the Federated Register is still very helpful since it provides quick and easy access to basic post-grant legal status of EP patents directly at the source of the information.