50 years of the European Patent Convention

2023 was a landmark year for the European patent system, as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the signing of the European Patent Convention (EPC).

To celebrate this historic milestone, a team of volunteer staff at the EPO dedicated all their creativity, pride and passion to launching a programme of diverse activities in an authentic EPO spirit. Here we provide you with an overview of our rich history and a glimpse of the activities that took place throughout the anniversary year.

The exciting programme was designed to celebrate our heritage as a forward-looking organisation that is committed to excellence and to protecting technological ingenuity for a more sustainable world. The aim was to honour everyone, our member states, our staff, our partners, our users and all the inventors who have worked so hard to realise the vision of the signatories of the EPC, united in the belief that closer co-operation between European states benefits innovation, and supports peace and prosperity. 

The programme included activities to celebrate this spirit of co-operation with the broader EPO community, share our story with the public, connect people through art, inspire young people and strengthen our culture of diversity and inclusiveness.

Watch the celebration highlights

Celebrating 50 years of the European Patent Convention

View highlights from many of the activities and initiatives organised by the European Patent Office.

Member states' video statements

Member states' video statements

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Convention, the European Patent Office gave the floor to the heads of the national IP offices in EPO member states.

50 years official celebrations

Official celebration

View highlights of the major international event that took place across several EPO sites, as well as recordings of individual sessions or the entire event.​ 

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Chronology of the last 50 years

Follow the development and growth of a European institution dedicated to protecting technological ingenuity for a more sustainable world.

50 leading tech voices

50 Leading Tech Voices

Discover the insights of experts working at the forefront of five major innovation areas and read their statements on how innovation is leading to a safer, smarter and more sustainable world.