The European Patent Office (EPO) is a collaboration organisation between most European countries. It was formed through an international convention in Munich in 1973.

The European Patent Convention (EPC) is an agreement between almost forty European countries. It gives you the opportunity to file one single application with the EPO.

The EPO will review and assess your patent application and can grant patents in the Member States. If the EPO approves your application, you can either validate your patent in individual countries or request unitary effect. If you opt for validations, you must then submit a translation of the patent and pay the relevant fees in the countries where you want the patent to apply.

If you opt for a unitary patent, you will have a regional protection in those EU member states that participate in the unitary patent system. In this case, you will pay a common renewal fee directly to the EPO.

Read more about European patent applications

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