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European Patent Office (EPO)

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About the employer

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The European Patent Office (EPO) is the second-largest European organisation, employing 7.000 staff from over 30 countries. The EPO strives to support innovation and promote a knowledge-based society in Europe but also secures the highest quality standards in patenting.

The European Patent Organisation is an intergovernmental organisation that was set up on 7 October 1977 on the basis of the European Patent Convention (EPC) signed in Munich in 1973. It has two bodies, the European Patent Office and the Administrative Council, which supervises the Office's activities. The European Patent Office (EPO) offers inventors a uniform application procedure which enables them to seek patent protection in up to 40 European countries. Supervised by the Administrative Council, the Office is the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation. 

Member states

The Organisation currently has 38 member states, comprising all the member states of the European Union together with Albania, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. Its mission to grant European patents in accordance with the EPC is carried out by the European Patent Office. The Organisation has its seat in Munich (Art. 6 EPC).

Legal foundations

The European Patent Organisation is an intergovernmental organisation that was set up in 1977 on the basis of the European Patent Convention.

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