Startup guide

The EPO supports inventors, startups, and university researchers by granting high-quality patents. But we do so much more for innovators! Our free Deep Tech Finder connects potential investors with over 8 300 investment-ready European startups with EPO patent applications. Our public patent database Espacenet has over 150 million technical documents to help with R&D and to find partners, licensees and investors. We administer the new Unitary Patent system that is reducing costs and complexity for protecting inventions in Europe.

The inventor Joshua Silver looking up through glasses

Are you new to patents?

Do you wonder if a patent help your business, but don’t know where to start? What lies ahead? Are you even ready?

Decorative image

Patents, trade marks and startup finance

Startups with pan-European patents and trade marks are up to 10 times more likely to attract investments. 


User in front of a computer with a credit card

Fee reductions for small entities

Patenting is getting cheaper. We just introduced 30% reductions on patent application fees.

Unitary patent and Unitary patent court

Unitary Patent & Unified Patent Court

The new Unitary Patent is making it easy and cheaper to protection inventions more widely across Europe.


Mechanical gears turning

Searching for patents

Free patent information provides insights into the latest technologies and helps you find new partners, suppliers and customers.

Artistic visual displaying map and markers in black and blue

Explore deep tech in Europe

Find investment-ready European Deep Tech startups; inspect their patent portfolio and funding history; or find an investor.


Abstract representation of nodes and connections representing digital technologies

Digital technologies and patents 

Are inventions that run in software patentable? What about inventions using artificial intelligence?

Two female scientists look at the Espacenet patent search on a screen

Technology platforms

EPO examiners share their vast know-how, writing ready-made expert searches that run in our free database.


"Talk Innovation" podcast

"Talk innovation" podcast

Listen to innovators in science and engineering, startups, technology transfer experts, economists and patent attorneys

Blue background, lines going through space forming a tube

Observatory on Patents and Technology

Want to know more about the future of innovation? Learn more about the many different stakeholders and join the debate!