The European Patent

A European success story for innovation

This work was undertaken at the initiative of the European Patent Office to mark the 40th anniversary of the signing of the European Patent Convention on 5 October 1973. It traces the origins of the European Patent Office (EPO) and its development since the 1970s.

The author, Pascal Griset, is Professor of Contemporary History at Paris-Sorbonne University, specialising in the history of technology, with a focus on IT and communications. The views and opinions expressed in the book are his own.

The commemorative book in the three official languages (JPG) As a historian basing his approach on documentary research, the author was faced with a twofold challenge: writing a book that would be accessible to an informed but non-specialist audience, while also satisfying experts in the field.

His study will remain a source work for the future historians of Europe. He sets out to reveal an institution little known by the public despite its remarkable success, performing a function that goes far beyond simply managing patents. He stresses its ever-present human dimension and shows that within a framework of politics, ideals, aspirations and constraints it seeks to provide a unified European environment for innovation. 

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