European patent (EP)
With a European patent application, you can apply for patents in more than 30 European countries.
One application for 30 countries
You can apply for a patent through the European Patent Office (EPO). This is made possible by the European Patent Convention (EPC), which applies in more than 30 European countries.
Submitting a European application is a good choice when:
- Your market is in Europe
- You want to reach several countries with a single application
The European Patent Office (EPO) examines your patent application and then issues a central decision that is recognised by all countries in the EPC. A single patent application is therefore sufficient. If the EPO grants your application, you must then validate the patent in the country where you want it to be valid. Validation means submitting a translation of the patent and paying any fees to the countries where you want protection. The patent is then published in each country where your validation has been approved.
If you have questions about European applications, you should contact the EPO, which has offices in Berlin, The Hague and Munich.