European Patent Convention

  • european patent convention
    office europeen brevets.svg
    european patent convention contracting states in dark green, extension agreement states in light green and validation agreement states in violet
    signed5 october 1973 (1973-10-05)
    locationmunich, germany
    effective7 october 1977
    conditionsix states on whose territory the total number of patent applications filed in 1970 amounted to at least 180 000
    signatories16
    parties38
    depositarygovernment of the federal republic of germany
    languagesenglish, french and german
    convention on the grant of european patents at wikisource

    the european patent convention (epc), also known as the convention on the grant of european patents of 5 october 1973, is a multilateral treaty instituting the european patent organisation and providing an autonomous legal system according to which european patents are granted. the term european patent is used to refer to patents granted under the european patent convention. however, a european patent is not a unitary right, but a group of essentially independent nationally enforceable, nationally revocable patents,[1] subject to central revocation or narrowing as a group pursuant to two types of unified, post-grant procedures: a time-limited opposition procedure, which can be initiated by any person except the patent proprietor, and limitation and revocation procedures, which can be initiated by the patent proprietor only.

    the epc provides a legal framework for the granting of european patents,[2] via a single, harmonised procedure before the european patent office. a single patent application, in one language,[3] may be filed at the european patent office in munich,[4] at its branch in the hague,[4][notes 1] at its sub-office in berlin,[6] or at a national patent office of a contracting state, if the national law of the state so permits.[7]

  • background and rationale
  • history
  • legal nature and content
  • substantive patent law
  • unified prosecution phase
  • opposition
  • grant, effect and need for translations
  • enforcement and validity
  • term (duration) of a european patent
  • relation with the patent cooperation treaty
  • see also
  • notes
  • references
  • further reading
  • external links

European Patent Convention
Office europeen brevets.svg
European Patent Convention Contracting States in dark green, extension agreement states in light green and validation agreement states in violet
Signed5 October 1973 (1973-10-05)
LocationMunich, Germany
Effective7 October 1977
Conditionsix States on whose territory the total number of patent applications filed in 1970 amounted to at least 180 000
Signatories16
Parties38
DepositaryGovernment of the Federal Republic of Germany
LanguagesEnglish, French and German
Convention on the Grant of European Patents at Wikisource

The European Patent Convention (EPC), also known as the Convention on the Grant of European Patents of 5 October 1973, is a multilateral treaty instituting the European Patent Organisation and providing an autonomous legal system according to which European patents are granted. The term European patent is used to refer to patents granted under the European Patent Convention. However, a European patent is not a unitary right, but a group of essentially independent nationally enforceable, nationally revocable patents,[1] subject to central revocation or narrowing as a group pursuant to two types of unified, post-grant procedures: a time-limited opposition procedure, which can be initiated by any person except the patent proprietor, and limitation and revocation procedures, which can be initiated by the patent proprietor only.

The EPC provides a legal framework for the granting of European patents,[2] via a single, harmonised procedure before the European Patent Office. A single patent application, in one language,[3] may be filed at the European Patent Office in Munich,[4] at its branch in The Hague,[4][notes 1] at its sub-office in Berlin,[6] or at a national patent office of a Contracting State, if the national law of the State so permits.[7]