IFI Legal Status Indicator for EPO Designated States

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We recently published a blog post that covered how IFI data enhancements make it easier to know when a patent will expire. That article focused on US patents, and in this post we’ll discuss European patents.

Things are more complicated for European Patent Office (EPO) granted patents. The European Patent Office grants patents which may be registered in specific countries or “designated states”.  IFI released legal status data at the EPO designated state level in 2016. This was described in our blog post IFI Patent Status Indicator Now Available for EP Documents: An Example.  

IFI has recently changed the IFI patstat Legal Status Indicator. We now track the status at the EPO grant (B1 & B2) level. We have simplified the indicator for designated states to make it easier to track where the patents are in force. 

An Example - EP-2175832-B1

As an example, consider EP-2175832-B1 “SKIN-COLOURING METHOD USING DEHYDROASCORBIC ACID OR ITS ISOMER AND AN AMINE”, published October 5, 2016; applied for July 7, 2008 by L'Oreal SA.


Loreal patent

IFI computes the Anticipated Expiration Date as July 7, 2018. This is a simple application of the 20 year term rule described in our previous blog post.

We produce a patstat Legal Status Indicator at the EP level, and at the designated state level. In this case:

Country Status
EP Active
AT Not-in-force
BE In-force
BG In-force
CH In-force
CY In-force
CZ In-force
DE In-force
DK In-force
EE In-force
ES In-force
FI No-in-force
FR In-force
GB In-force
GR No-in-force
HR Not-in-force
HU In-force
IE In-force
IS Not-in-force
IT In-force
LI In-force
LT Not-in-force
LU In-force
LV In-force
MC In-force
MT In-force
NL Not-in-force
NO Not-in-force
PL Not-in-force
PT Not-in-force
RO In-force
SE Not-in-force
SI In-force
SK In-force
TR In-force

At the EP level, the status will be “Active” if the patent is in force in at least one designated state. Otherwise, the status will be either “Not-in-force”, “Expired – Fee Related”, “Expired – Lifetime”, “Revoked” or “Withdrawn – After Issue”.  “Not-in-force” means that the patent is not in force in any of the designated states.  

For each designated state, the status will be either “In-force” or “Not-in-force”. This represents a change and simplification over IFI’s previous scheme (described in IFI Patent Status Indicator Now Available for EP Documents: An Example). The default value at the Designated States level is "Active" for granted patents. In some cases, there is no indication of nonactive status.  In these cases, an EP patent may appear to be in force when it is not.  

For the 61,582 EPO patent grants with application dates in 2008, the status counts are:

Status Documents
Active 55,108
Expired - Fee Related 1,260
Not-in-force 4,822
Revoked 387
Withdrawn - After Issue 6
EP Legal Status for patent filed in 2008
EP patent status
Percentage of EP Granted patents filed in 2008 that are in and out of force

IFI CLAIMS is working to expand its enhanced data content, including standardized names, legal status indicator and expiration dates to other countries. If you would like more information on our data coverage, please contact us.