In the past, for validating a European patent in a certain state, a full translation of the documents into the official language of that state needed to be prepared and filed.
The costs resulting from translations will now be substantially reduced by the London Agreement which will enter into force on May 01, 2008. The London Agreement applies to European patents in respect of which the mention of grant is published in the European Patent Bulletin after the Agreement enters into force for the state concerned.
A European patent will still include versions of the claims in all three official languages of the EPO (English German and French) and a description in one of these languages. According to the agreement, all contracting states will still require a version of the claims in their official language, but no translation of the description into that language. Some contracting states however require an English version of the description.
Additional information may be obtained upon contact of RHP or here: