European Patent Office
KWD: 11/428 = 2.57%
European Patent Office
The European Patent Office (EPO) is tasked to grant European patents for the contracting states to the European Patent Convention (EPC), which was signed in Munich on 5 October 1973 and entered into force on 7 October 1977. European Patent Office serves as the executive arm of the European Patent Organization, an intergovernmental body set up under the EPC, whose members are the EPC contracting states. The activities of the European Patent Office are supervised by the Organization’s Administrative Council, composed of delegates from the contracting states.
European Patent Office has been around for more than three decades. And clearly European Patent Office has demonstrated a number of advantages. European Patent intends to continue its efforts to optimize the European patent system by making it more efficient and cost-effective, and better adapted to the applicant’s needs. The mission of the European Patent Office is to support innovation, competitiveness and economic growth for the benefit of the citizens of Europe. Its task is to grant European patents for inventions, on the basis of a centralized procedure. By filing a single application in one of the three official languages (English, French and German) it is possible to obtain patent protection in some or all of the EPC contracting states.
The European Patent Office was set up by the contracting states to the EPC. European Patent Office aims to strengthen co-operation between the countries of Europe in the protection of inventions. This was achieved by adopting the EPC, which makes it possible to obtain such protection in several or all of the contracting states by a single patent grant procedure, and establishes standard rules governing the treatment of patents granted by this procedure.
European Patent Office has some 6,000 staff spread in over 35 countries today. The applicant for a European patent may choose which contracting states to designate in the application. European patent applications and patents can also be extended at the applicant’s request to the following states as of 1 September 2004:
* AL Albania
* HR Croatia
* LT Lithuania
* LV Latvia
* MK Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
In view of the increasing interest in obtaining patent protection in central and eastern European countries, the European Patent Organisation has concluded bilateral agreements with Albania, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, allowing the protection conferred by a European patent to be extended to these countries at the applicant’s request. In October 1999 the European Patent Office began negotiations to introduce a similar system for validating European patents outside Europe.