Official celebrations

50 years of the EPC

Celebrating 50 Years of the European Patent Convention 

On 5 October 2023, the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the European Patent Convention (EPC) marked a key milestone in the journey to support innovation and European integration. The Convention, signed on 5 October 1973, created the European Patent Organisation and its implementing authority, the European Patent Office (EPO). Moreover, it laid the foundations for the European patent system, which has fostered innovation and economic growth across Europe for the last five decades. 

Check out the videos below for highlights of the major international event that took place across several EPO sites, as well as recordings of individual sessions and the entire event.

Event highlights

Get a glimpse of the programme, and the most emotional moments! 


Opening speeches  

The event kicked off with an opening ceremony that paid tribute to everyone who has contributed to the accomplishments of the past 50 years and the foundations of a European patent system that aims to foster shared progress and prosperity for generations to come. Here are the opening speeches: 


António Campinos
President of the EPO 
Rumen Radev
President of the Republic of Bulgaria 
Olaf Scholz
Chancellor of Germany 
Ursula von der Leyen
President of the European Commission 
Micky Adriaansens
Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, The Netherlands   
Alexander Schallenberg
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Austria 


Carl Josefsson
President of the Board of Appeals 
Josef Kratochvíl
Chairperson of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation and President of the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic. 

Statements and messages

Message from António Guterres, United Nations Secretary General  
The message from the United Nations Secretary General was read by moderator Fernando Tiberini.

A word from the Heads of Offices of the member states of the European Patent Organisation
Here’s a question we asked the member states: Which one word would you use to describe what it means to be part of this community?
Are you curious about what they said? Take a look!


Statements of the international partners of the European Patent Office


Award ceremony for the Kids’ collaborative art competition  

The winners of our Kids’ collaborative art competition received their prizes in recognition of their artworks conveying hopes and dreams for the future of innovation. This was a particularly emotional moment. The awards were handed over by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands; Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation of Iceland; Hem Vanndy, Minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation of Cambodia; and Professor Wolfgang Heckl, Director General of the Deutsches Museum, Munich: 



The innovation game

One of the highlights of the morning sessions was the innovation game, which was dedicated to the work of our staff and inspirational inventors.  

Technology panels  

The afternoon featured roundtables with expert speakers exploring how inclusive innovation in fields such as health and space technology are contributing to a more sustainable world.

Innovation for everyone’s well-being 

A snapshot of how advances in medical and digital technologies, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology are transforming the future of healthcare.

Moderator: Helena Domingues, Patent Examiner in Immunology


  • Claudiu Hidas, Chief Executive Officer, munevo AG 

  • Jens Zehetner, Franchise Director, Merck, Sharp & Dome 

  • Jérôme Galon, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale and European Inventor Award winner 2019 

  • Madiha Derouazi, Member of the Board of Directors, LiTao Biotech SA and European Inventor Award winner 2022 


We have lift-off: How space technologies change life on Earth

Explore the latest exciting developments in space technology, from the world’s largest telescopes to artificial intelligence for space missions.

Moderator: Julian Mihé, Patent Examiner in Gas Turbines


  • Xavier Barcons, Director, European Southern Observatory 

  • Ilaria Cinelli, Space Healthcare Expert and Institutional Business Developer 

  • Laurent Lestarquit, GNSS Signal Expert, Centre National D’Etudes Spatiales and European Inventor Award winner 2017   

  • Anna Gregorio, Associate Professor, University of Trieste, Department of Physics 


Technologies for a sustainable future 

Unique insights into the latest innovation and policy initiatives for a net-zero future, a healthier climate and more sustainable patterns of production. 


Moderator: Manuel Walther, Patent Examiner in Medical Injection & Infusion 


  • Simon Bennett, Energy Technology Analyst, International Energy Agency 

  • Christoph Gürtler, Head of Catalysis Program, Covestro / RWTH Aachen University and European Inventor Award finalist 2021 

  • Jennifer Rupp, Professor of Chemistry and Solid-state Electrolytes, Technical University Munich 

  • Catia Bastioli, Chief Executive Officer, Novamont, and European Inventor Award finalist 2007 

Talking digital 

As digital technologies become increasingly woven into the fabric of society, from our communication systems, industries and economies to entire smart cities, how will they transform the future next?

Moderator: Georgia Tseliou, Patent Examiner in Wireless and Data Networks 


  • Hamano Koichi, Commissioner, Japan Patent Office 

  • Claudia Tapia, President, 4iP Council and Director IPR Policy and Legal Academic Research, Ericsson 

  • Sophie Wilson, Broadcom and European Inventor Award finalist 2013 

  • Bastian Best, European Patent Attorney and AI Expert 

  • Carles Puente, Fractus Founder, Professor IPR Management, UPC and European Inventor Award Finalist 2014


Further information

In case of any questions – please address these to