Diagram describing the structure of the European Patent Office


The European Patent Organisation is an intergovernmental organisation that was set up on 7 October 1977 on the basis of the European Patent Convention (EPC) signed in Munich in 1973. It has two bodies, the European Patent Office and the Administrative Council.

The European Patent Office, the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation, offers inventors a uniform application procedure which enables them to seek patent protection in up to 45 countries. The Office is supervised by the Administrative Council.

The Administrative Council acts as the Office's supervisory body and is composed of representatives of the Organisation’s member states.

The European Patent Organisation currently has 39 member states. Additionally, European patents are recognised in two European extension states and four validation states.

Decisions of the European Patent Office can be appealed to its boards of appeal. Though integrated in its organisational structure, the boards of appeal are independent of the Office in their decisions and are bound only by the European Patent Convention.


Reports on recent meetings of the Administrative Council and Select Committee.

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Schedule of meetings of the Council and its bodies.

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Documents and publications

Access the publicly available Administrative Council and Select Committee documents.

Administrative Council documents European Patent Convention Select Committee documents