How to file an European Community Patent Application


The European Patent OrganisationEPOestablished by the Convention on the Grant of European Patents (EPC) signed in Munich 1973, the EPO is the outcome of the European countries' collective political determination to establish a uniform patent system in Europe. 


As a centralised patent grant system administered by the European Patent Office on behalf of all contracting states, it is a model of successful co-operation in Europe. 


The following states are currently members of the European Patent Organisation. 

Iceland, Belgium, Italy, Bulgaria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Lithuania, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Latvia, Germany, Monaco, Denmark, Netherlands, Estonia, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Romania, France, Sweden, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Hellenic Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Turkey.


A European patent can be obtained by filing a single application in one of the official languages of the European Patent Office (English, French or German) in a unitary procedure before the EPO and is valid in as many of the contracting states as the applicant cares to designate.

A European patent affords the same rights in the designated contracting states as a national patent granted in any of theses states.


The advantages of a European patent 

Economy and efficiency 
A cost-effective and time-saving way of applying for patent protection in several different countries 


2Unitary effects in the contracting states 
 Term, scope of protection, binding text, grounds for revocation


3A 'strong' patent 
Every European patent has undergone substantive examination and can be obtained for countries which otherwise operate only a registration system