Glossary:European Patent Office (EPO)

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The European Patent Office, abbreviated as EPO, based in Munich, is the authority that grants European patents. It is the executive arm of the European Patent Organization, an intergovernmental body set up under the European Patent Convention (EPC), which was signed in Munich on 5 October 1973 and which entered into force on 7 October 1977. The EPO's activities are supervised by the Administrative Council, composed of delegates from the 36 contracting states.

Patent is granted on the basis of a centralised procedure. By filing a single application in one of the three official languages (English, French and German) it is possible to obtain patent protection in some or all of the EPC contracting states.

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