Patent protection in the Faeroe Islands and Greenland


Nils Tarras-Wahlberg

Denmark ratified the European Patent Convention in 1989, but it doesn’t apply to the Faeroe Islands and Greenland, which are autonomous provinces within the Kingdom of Denmark.

Therefore, a granted European patent validated in Denmark does not cover the two provinces. Instead, a national Danish patent must be filed either directly or based on an international patent application.

An international patent application must, according to Article 22(1) of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), enter a member state not later than 30 months from the international filing date or, if priority is claimed, from the priority date. In Denmark, that provision was implemented on June 10, 2003, when the time limit for national entry in Denmark based on a PCT application was set at 31 months from the priority date, or from the international filing date in case of a first filing.

It was subsequently understood that an international patent application filed in Denmark within 31 months was also valid for the Faeroe Islands and Greenland. But in January 2009, the Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO) announced that since the authorities of the Faeroe Islands and Greenland had not implemented Article 22(1) of the PCT, there were doubts about whether entry into Denmark at the 31-month deadline would be in force in these two provinces.

patent protection, Greenland, Faeroe Islands