2.1. General

The European Patent Organisation, established by the EPC, which constitutes a special agreement under Art. 19 of the Paris Convention, is not a party to the WTO/TRIPS Agreement. The Enlarged Board of Appeal observed in G 2/02 and G 3/02 (OJ 2004, 483) that although the EPO is not a party to TRIPS and not bound by it, the national legal systems of the EPC Contracting States might be affected by TRIPS and they may be under an obligation to see to it that the EPC is in conformity with TRIPS. The European Patent Organisation as an international organisation has an internal legal system of its own, the EPC. The boards of appeal of the EPO have the task of ensuring compliance with the autonomous legal system established by the EPC and are bound by the provisions of the EPC alone (Art. 23(3) EPC).

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