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The European Patent Office

European Patent Office

What is the European Patent Office?

The European Patent Office is one of the two primary components of the European Patent Organization—the other organ is the Administrative Council. The European Patent Office acts as the executive body for the larger organization, while the Administrative Council is responsible for supervising the actions of the larger body. Furthermore, the actual legislative responsibilities to revise the European Patent Convention are found within the Contracting States.

The European Patent Office is the governmental body responsible for granting European patents for the Contracting States to the European Patent Convention. The European Patent Convention will incorporate a single patent grant procedure; the patents granted in the European patent Office are bundles of national patents.

In addition to granting European patents, the European patent Office is also responsible for establishing search reports for national patent application on behalf of various patent offices throughout Europe, including: France, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, the Netherlands, Malta, Luxembourg and Italy.

The European Office is not a legal organization, but instead, a fundamental organ of the European Patent Organization, which possesses a distinct legal personality. The European Patent Office is headquartered in Munich, Germany and possesses branch in the Netherlands, Berlin, Germany and Vienna, Austria.

Activities of the European Patent Office:

The European Patent Office, in accordance to various International Treaties, is responsible for upholding various procedures in alignment with the issuance of patents. Under international procedure, based widely off the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the European Patent Office will act as the receiving office, an International Searching Authority, a so-called Supplementary International Searching Authority and an International Preliminary Examining Authority.

The European Patent Office, according to the Patent Cooperation Treaty provides an international procedure for handling all patent applications, referred to as international applications, during the first 30 months following the first filing in any country that follows the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

The European Patent Office cooperates with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as the Japan Patent Office, as one of the Trilateral Patent Offices in the world. Furthermore, the European Patent Office works with the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China and the United States Patent and Trademark Office to form a functional co-operation known as the five IP offices.

NEXT: An Overview of the United States Patent Office

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