European Patent Office (EPO)

Office européen des brevets (OEB)
Europäisches Patentamt (EPA)

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Established 7 Oct 1977, based on adoption of Convention on the Grant of European Patents (European patent convention) at a diplomatic conference on 5 Oct 1973, Munich (Germany FR). The convention was signed by 16 European States in 1973 and entered into force on 7 Oct 1977. On 1 Jan 1978, EPO took over the functions of International Patent Institute (IIB), set up 6 June 1947, The Hague (Netherlands). First patent applications accepted 1 June 1978; first European patents granted 9 Jan 1980.


Support innovation, competitiveness and economic growth for the benefit of the citizens of Europe; grant European patents for inventions, on the basis of a centralized procedure.

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Any person or legal entity, regardless of nationality and place of business or residence, can apply for a European patent through a 2-phase (sometimes 3-phase) grant procedure: 'first phase' (Munich - Germany; The Hague - Netherlands; Berlin - Germany) - Filing the application, examination on filing and formalities examination, search, publication of application and search report; 'second phase' (Munich; The Hague; Berlin) - Substantive examination (grant of patent or refusal of application); 'third phase' (Munich) - in some cases; Opposition, appeal. Organizes Patent Information Conference. Offer European Inventor Award.


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English, French, German.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 18 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 16 non-governmental organizations.
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Information Services

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Members in 40 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Research, Standards
    • Patents, Copyright

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



Last News Received

15. Mar 2019
* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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