European Patent Guide – How to get a European patent

23rd edition / 1 July 2023

The "European Patent Guide" has been designed to provide inventors, companies and their representatives with an outline of the procedure involved in applying for a European patent, offering practical advice to smooth the way through the various stages.

This updated 23rd edition is based on the revised European Patent Convention (EPC 2000) which entered into force on 13 December 2007. All references to articles or rules in the Guide therefore relate to the EPC as in force since that date. The Guide cannot go into the details or specific issues of the European patent grant procedure, and it does not constitute an official commentary on the European Patent Convention (EPC). 

Available formats

The European Patent Guide is published in English, French and German and is only available electronically. The content of the Guide is also available as an e-learning module.

HTML version

This version is optimised for online use.

Go to European Patent Guidee-learning module

PDF file

This printable PDF is the best version to use for browsing the entire text offline and for full-text searching.

Feedback on this edition

Email and tell us how we can improve this edition.