50 years of the European Patent Convention

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

To celebrate this half-century, a team of volunteer staff at the EPO has dedicated all their creativity, pride and passion to launching a programme of diverse activities in an authentic EPO spirit. This section provides you with an overview of our rich history and a glimpse of the activities that will take place throughout this anniversary year.

The exciting programme is designed to celebrate our rich heritage as a forward-looking organisation that is committed to excellence and to protecting technological ingenuity for a more sustainable world. The aim is therefore to honour everyone, our member states, our staff, our partners, our users and last but not least 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 includes 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 internal culture of diversity and inclusiveness.

Stay tuned and check back here regularly for all the latest developments.

50 years European Patent Convention

The celebrations will culminate in a major event on 5 October. Taking place at our premises in Munich and The Hague, the event will be streamed on our website and social media.

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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.