The European Patent Organisation reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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European Patent Organisation

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The European Patent Organisation (EPO or EPOrg in order to distinguish it from the European Patent Office) is an organisation set up by the European Patent Convention.

The European Patent Organisation has the task of granting European patents. Despite what the name suggests, these are not European Community patents or even Europe-wide patents. The European Patent Convention, according to which the European Patent Organisation was established, provides a single patent grant procedure, but not yet a single patent on the point of view of enforcement. After grant, the European patent becomes equivalent to a number ("bundle") of national patents.

The European Patent Organisation is not legally bound to the European Union.

Table of contents
1 Seat
2 Organs
3 Member states and extension states
4 Related articles

Seat

The European Patent Organisation has its seat at Munich.

Organs

The European Patent Organisation has two organs: the European Patent Office, which can be viewed as its executive body, and the Administrative Council, which can be viwed as its legislative body.

Member states and extension states

There are (as of April 1, 2004) 28 member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom (see European Patent Convention article for the dates of entry in force in each country).

In addition there are five so-called "extension states" which recognise European Patents. These are Albania, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia and Croatia.

Further countries are expected to join the EPO in due course (probably Iceland soon).

Related articles

European Patent Office, European Patent Convention.