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FAQ - European Inventor Award

Questions

Conditions for proposing an inventor or entering yourself

Formal criteria for proposing an inventor or entering yourself

Answers

Conditions for proposing an inventor or entering yourself


What kind of inventions will be considered for the European Inventor Award?

Inventors proposed for the European Inventor Award must have been granted at least one valid European patent for the invention.


What are the requirements for inventors nominated for the European Inventor Award?

Any inventor of any nationality who has at least one valid European patent can be nominated. Inventors with a European nationality are eligible for the Industry, SMEs, Research and Lifetime Achievement categories, even if they are currently living outside Europe. Other nationals can only be nominated for the Non-European Countries category.


What if more than one inventor worked on an invention nominated for the European Inventor Award?

You can nominate a team of inventors. Several teams have won the award in the past.


Are any inventors excluded?

An inventor may NOT be entered for the competition if:

  • the patent has not yet been granted, or has been only granted by a patent office other than the EPO
  • the relevant patent is subject to pending opposition or appeal proceedings
  • the relevant patent is within a nine‑month notice of opposition period
  • the patent has been revoked
  • they have already been finalists or winners in previous European Inventor Award competitions.

List of past finalists and winners


What are the five European Inventor Award categories?

The European Inventor Award is presented in five categories:

  • Industry: The Industry Award is presented in recognition of inventors of outstanding and commercially successful technologies patented by large European companies. These are companies that have more than 250 employees and an annual turnover of more than EUR 50 million.
  • SMEs: This Award is presented to the people behind inventions at small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are companies that had fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than EUR 50 million when the patent was granted. Ideally, the invention will have been a commercial success and helped the SME to expand its business.
  • Research: This Award honours inventors working at universities or research institutions. Inventions presented in this category will often have led to major technological progress and enhanced the reputation of the inventor's institution.
  • Lifetime Achievement: This category honours the long-term contribution of an individual European inventor whose dedication and tireless efforts – and patented landmark inventions – have had a major impact on his/her field of technology and society at large.
  • Non-European Countries: This category is open to all inventors who are not European nationals, regardless of the size or turnover of the company applying their patented invention. However, the invention or related products must be available and enjoy considerable commercial success in Europe.

Are any areas of technology excluded?

No, all technologies for which a European patent can be granted will be considered.


Formal criteria for proposing an inventor or entering yourself


What documents do I have to submit?

Complete the mandatory part of the entry form and as much of the optional parts as you are able.

Inventors nominating themselves must also submit their current CV with their contact details.


What languages can I use on the form?

English, French or German.


How do I submit the entry?

You can submit your entry in three ways:

  • by filling in the entry form online
  • by e-mail, with a scan of the completed entry form, to: european-inventor@epo.org
  • by post in an envelope addressed to:
    European Inventor Award
    c/o European Patent Office
    80298 Munich, Germany

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