Contact

european-inventor@epo.org

Tel: +49 (0)89 2399 1830

Fax: +49 (0)89 2399 1835

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Eligibility rules and conditions

To qualify for the European Inventor Award, all entries must satisfy certain formal conditions. Before filling in the entry form, please read the information below. Failure to observe the conditions may result in the candidate's elimination from the competition.

Anyone can submit an entry: whether you work in industry, at a university or research institute or for a professional association, are an individual inventor, or simply have an interest in the work these people do, there are no restrictions. If you are an inventor, you can even put yourself forward.

Minimum formal conditions

Inventors entered for the award must have been granted at least one valid European patent for their invention by the European Patent Office. If several European patents have been granted for an invention, you should highlight the most representative one (please give reasons).

Candidates can be entered for the following five categories:

  • Industry
  • SMEs
  • Research
  • Lifetime achievement
  • Non-European countries

Areas of technology

All technologies for which a European patent can be granted will be considered.

Restrictions

The European Inventor Award is a tribute to those whose inventions have achieved outstanding and enduring success in Europe. Inventors of any nationality can be put forward as long as they have been granted at least one valid European patent for their invention and the invention benefits Europe. However, there are some restrictions:

  • Inventors who are not European nationals can only be entered in the Non-European countries category.
  • The Lifetime achievement category is open to European nationals only. It does not matter if the inventor is currently living outside Europe; what counts is his/her nationality.
  • Inventors cannot put themselves forward for the Lifetime achievement award.

Criteria

You must show clearly and precisely that the invention meets the following criteria:

  • high degree of inventiveness
  • practical application
  • demonstrable market success or potential in Europe
  • clearly recognisable benefits for the economy and society, e.g. increased employment, improvements in quality of life and/or environmental protection.

Entries will not be considered if:

  • the patent has not yet been granted, or has been granted only 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
  • the inventor has already been a finalist or winner in a previous European Inventor Award competition (see the list of past finalists and winners).

Languages

Entry form is available in English.

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