The European Patent Office (EPO) has marked a historic milestone as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the European Patent Convention (EPC) today.
The European Patent Convention (EPC) was signed in Munich on October 5, 1973 and entered into force on October 7, 1977 for the following member states: Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
In 2023, the number of member states of the EPO has grown to 39 member states, including all 27 EU member states, as well as the following 12 additional countries: Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia, Monaco and San Marino.
Fifty years after the signing of the European Patent Convention, the European Patent Office now receives more than 180 000 patent applications per year across all fields of technology, with a record of 188 600 applications filed in 2021.
Happy birthday EPO, and we look forward to the following 50 years of protecting innovation!