In 2009 the EPO felt the effects of the economic contraction. Around 134 500 applications were filed under the European Patent Convention (EPC), 8 % down on the previous year (2008: 146 600).
In the course of the year the EPO made progress on implementing a quality management system, taking further steps to prepare for ISO 9001 certification.
In 2009, the EPO expanded its legal status database by adding new data from China and Russia, as well as new patent assignment data from the US.
The European Patent Academy, the EPO's central provider for external training, organised a broad range of training events for industry and patent system stakeholders in 2009.
In the course of the year the European Patent Organisation gained two new member states, with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joining in January and San Marino in July.