The Agreement on the application of Article 65 EPC – the London Agreement – is an optional agreement aiming at reducing the costs relating to the translation of European patents. It is the fruit of the longstanding efforts to provide for a cost attractive post-grant translation regime, which began in the 1990s in the framework of the European Patent Organisation and gained momentum at the Intergovernmental Conference held in Paris on 24 and 25 June 1999 (see OJ EPO 1999, 545). It was concluded at the Intergovernmental Conference held in the London on 17 October 2000 (see OJ EPO 2001, 549).
The EPC contracting states which have ratified or acceded to the Agreement undertake to waive, entirely or largely, the requirement for translations of European patents. Under Article 1(1), (2) and (3) of the London Agreement,
- a state which has an official language in common with one of the official languages of the EPO shall dispense entirely with the translation requirements provided for in Article 65(1) EPC;
- a state which does not have an official language in common with one of the official languages of the EPO shall dispense with the translation requirements provided for in Article 65(1) EPC if the European patent has been granted in the official language of the EPO prescribed by that State, or translated into that language and supplied under the conditions provided for in Article 65(1) EPC. These states may however require that a translation of the claims into one of their official languages be supplied.