https://www.epo.org/en/node/at-a-glance

The EPO at a glance

Welcome to the EPO

The European Patent Office (EPO) examines European patent applications, enabling inventors, researchers and companies from around the world to obtain protection for their inventions in up to 45 countries through a centralised and uniform procedure that requires just one application.

Mission, vision and values

EPO building at The Hague

Origin

The European Patent Office (EPO) was set up in 1973. From 16 signatory states of the European Patent Convention in 1973, the Organisation has now grown to 39 member states, including all 27 EU member states plus countries such as Norway, Switzerland and Türkiye.

History


Governance

The EPO is the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation, an international organisation with 39 member states. The EPO’s activities and budget are overseen by the Organisation’s Administrative Council, which consists of representatives of the member states.

More on the governance


Leadership and Management

The current President of the European Patent Office is António Campinos. He took up office on 1 July 2018.

About the President
About the Management Advisory Committee

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EPO President António Campinos

Staff

The EPO is one of the largest public service organisations in Europe, employing some 6 300 staff of 34 different nationalities. Of them, over 4 000 are highly qualified scientists and engineers working as patent examiners in all fields of technology.

Social Report 2022
Job opportunities


Structure

Structure of the European Patent Office

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Languages

The three official languages of the EPO are English, French and German. Patent applications may be filed in any of them.


Locations

The EPO has its headquarters in Munich, a branch in The Hague and offices in Berlin, Vienna and Brussels.


Budget

The EPO is financed entirely by fees paid by users. In 2023, it has a budget of EUR 2.57 billion.


Geographic scope of the European patent protection

European patents provide protection not only in the 39 member states of the European Patent Organisation but also in one extension state and five validation states. This represents an area with some 700 million inhabitants.

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Bilateral co-operation

The EPO has established long-term partnerships with other IP offices around the world to further integrate and strengthen the global patent system. They aim to foster innovation and support bilateral trade and investment – a boon to both local innovators and our international users.

Bilateral co-operation with non-member states


Key figures of 2022

Demand for patents - European patent application

Bar chart showing the demand for patents - European patent applications

Top technology fields

% change, European patent applications 2022 vs. 2021

Table with icons showing the Top 3 technology fields % change, European patent applications 2022 vs. 2021

Geographic origin

European patent applications 2022 by country of origin

Vertical bar chart showing the Geographic origin European patent applications 2022 by country of origin

 

View all statistics in our Patent Index 2022

All annual reports of the EPO