The European Patent Office

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1 The European Patent Office An introduction to the EPO and the European patent system Christian Soltmann Patent Information Promotion November 2014

2 Contents About the European Patent Office Granting and publishing patents Statistics Contact

3 Contents About the European Patent Office Granting and publishing patents Statistics Contact

4 Our mission As the patent office for Europe, we support innovation, competitiveness and economic growth across Europe through a commitment to high quality and efficient services delivered under the European Patent Convention.

5 2013: 40 years of the European Patent Convention 1973 Diplomatic Conference in Munich 5 October Signature of the European Patent Convention (EPC) 1973 by 16 countries 1977 Entry into force of the EPC in 7 countries Foundation of the European Patent Organisation Foundation of the European Patent Office 2013 Celebration of 40 years of the EPC More on

6 Today, 38 member states and 2 extension states Belgium Germany France Luxembourg Netherlands Switzerland United Kingdom Sweden Italy Austria Liechtenstein Greece Spain Denmark Monaco Portugal Ireland Finland Cyprus Turkey Bulgaria Czech Republic Estonia Slovakia Slovenia Hungary Romania Poland Iceland Lithuania Latvia Malta Croatia Norway Former Yugoslav Rep. Macedonia San Marino Albania Serbia European patent applications and patents can also be extended at the applicant's request to Bosnia- Herzegovina and Montenegro.

7 Our staff Munich The Hague Berlin Vienna Brussels Total Around 60% are patent examiners Source: EPO data 2013

8 Contents About the European Patent Office Granting and publishing patents Statistics Contact

9 Three possible routes to file a patent application for Europe: National route European route International route Via National patent offices European Patent Office or national patent offices Valid in One country Up to 38 countries + 2 extension states International Bureau (World Intellectual Property Organization) or European Patent Office or national patent offices Up to 148 countries In brief Applications are filed with the competent national patent office and are only valid in that country One single application in DE/EN/FR for all EPC contracting states Same legal effects as national patents A centralised international application procedure, no granting procedure, no international patent After first ('international') phase, applicants can choose to enter second ('national/regional') phase in various countries

10 European Patent Convention (EPC): Application and prosecution procedure: Filing: Single patent application One language Formal examination Prior art search: Search report Preliminary opinion on patentability Publication: Application Search report Substantive examination of the application Grant Publication of the granted patent Opposition Limitation/ Withdrawal Centralised prosecution by EPO Bundle of national patents

11 The EPO also processes international (PCT) applications We act as a receiving office for international applications (PCT) We carry out approximately: 40% of all international search procedures 48% of all international preliminary examinations The EPO delivers the international search report within 3 months* * From the date of receipt of the application by the International Searching Authority.

12 Contents About us Granting and publishing patents Statistics Contact

13 Total European patent filings % Direct European filings under the EPC and international filings under the PCT.

14 Origin of European patent filings (2013) 1 EPO member states 35% DE: Germany I FR: France I CH: Switzerland I NL: Netherlands I UK: United Kingdom US: United States I JP: Japan I CN: P.R. China I KR: South Korea I EPO: European Patent Organisation 1 Direct European filings under the EPC and international filings under the PCT

15 Top applicants seeking patent protection from the EPO in Based on European patent applications filed with the EPO.

16 Contents About the European Patent Office Granting and publishing patents Statistics Contact

17 Need more information? Visit Follow us on twitter.com/epoorg Contact us via

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