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European Patent

As the patent office for Europe, we support innovation, competitiveness and economic growth across Europe.

Services & activities

Our services

The Office's core activity is the search and examination of patent applications and the grant of European patents. We also provide patent information and training services.

Quality management

The EPO’s quality management is certified under the ISO 9001 standard.

Consulting our users

The feedback of our users is very important to us. User consultation takes many different forms.

European and international co-operation

The Office works in close co-operation with the patent offices of the member states and other countries around the world.

European Patent Academy

The European Patent Academy provides patent-related training to lawyers, patent office staff, judges and other interested parties.

Chief Economist

The Chief Economist unit provides expertise and analysis to foster well-informed policy debate on issues relating to patents, innovation and economic growth.

Delivering quality

Our commitment to quality

The clear vision of our management and a solid policy are the foundation for a strong quality culture.

Quality Report 2016

The very first of its kind, this annual quality report provides our users with a full set of quality indicators.

Managing and monitoring quality

We have put into place clear processes, responsibilities and monitoring to ensure both quality and efficiency.

Engaging with our customers

Delivering high quality services requires listening to and understanding users’ needs.

The ISO 9001 certification

The EPO's Quality Management System is certified under the ISO 9001 standard. This covers the entire patent  process, including search, examination, opposition, limitation/revocation, patent information and post-grant activities.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Patents and IP

  • What are patents and what do they protect
  • Where can I find information about utility models, copyright, trade marks and designs?
  • I have an invention. How can I find out if something similar already exists and has been patented?

The EPO

Procedure and law

Applying for a patent

  • The procedure
  • Fees and costs
  • Your application
  • Practical advice

Online services

Patent searching

Learning & events

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