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Information on legal issues is available in the Law & practice area:

Related documents

Read more about these issues in the following brochures:

Useful links

More information is available on the European Commission website:


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.


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.

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.

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.

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