European Patent Prosecution
The path to obtaining a European patent can be viewed as a multi-stage process. Firstly, at the filing stage, the applicant must provide the European Patent Office (EPO) with sufficient information to be awarded a filing date for the application. This filing date acts as a stake in the ground because the application will be assessed for novelty and inventive step based on what was in public domain before this date. As such, it is possible to publicly disclose the invention from this date onwards without compromising its patentability.