From 1 March 2015, a new agreement will come into force that allows European patents to be validated in Morocco. This is the first time that a non-member country of the European Patent Organisation will have recognised European patents as national patents. It takes the number of countries in which patent protection can be obtained with a single European patent application to 41.
A request for validation in Morocco will be automatically included in any European or international application filed from 1 March 2015. For the request to take effect, however, a validation fee of €240 must be paid to the European Patent Office within 6 months of the publication of the European search report or on expiry of the time limit for regional phase entry of an international application, which is the same period within which the designation and extension fees are due. Limited and costly remedies for late payment of the validation fee will be available.
Similar agreements are expected to enter into force in Tunisia and Moldova in the future, pending ratification by their respective national governments.