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Patenting issues

International route (JPG)

Your source of information on patenting issues in the news.

Unitary patent

In 2012, representatives of the EU member states achieved a breakthrough agreement: The European unitary patent will soon guarantee supranational protection for inventions in 25 countries across Europe.

Sustainable technologies

Groundbreaking inventions help to generate tomorrow's electricity while preserving resources and lowering environmental impact.

The future of medicine

For the past 15 years, medical technologies have been the leading category among patent applications to the European Patent Office.

Research institutes

Discover the most important think tanks across Europe, including numerous winners and finalists of the European Inventor Award.

Simple inventions

Who said that patents have to be based on highly complex principles? Built on incredibly basic - but nevertheless highly effective - scientific premises, some inventions provide answers to the most pressing problems of our time.

Mobile economy

While sales of desktop PCs are declining, smartphones and tablet computers emerge as a booming market. E-book readers are giving printed books a run for their money. What are the inventions fueling this digital revolution?

Substantive patent law harmonisation

Set up in 2011 to informally discuss key harmonisation issues, the Tegernsee Group has produced technical, fact-finding studies and consulted users in Japan, the US and Europe on the grace period, 18-month publication, conflicting applications and prior user rights.

Patent classification

Here we look at current issues in patent classification, including efforts to harmonise classification systems and the tagging schemes developed by the EPO to identify technologies that span multiple technical fields.

Scenarios for the future

As part of a three-year project, the EPO interviewed over 100 key players in the fields of science, business, politics, ethics, economics and law, seeking their opinions on the key factors and challenges likely to have an impact on patenting and IP in the future. The result: four challenging, relevant and plausible scenarios describing four possible future worlds.


Biotechnology has consistently ranked among the ten largest technical fields at the EPO in the last few years, yet the professional and public debate about the patentability of biotechnological inventions continues.

Computer programs

While some countries grant patents for software - a hotly debated topic - the practice in Europe is different. To get a European patent for a computer-implemented invention (CII), inventors need to show that their invention actually makes a contribution in a technical field.

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