Preface by the President

This 15th edition of the European Patent Convention is being published in 2013, which also sees the 40th anniversary of the signing – on Friday, 5 October 1973, in Munich – of the European patent system's founding treaty. Four decades have now passed since we embarked on this great European venture: the creation of a European Patent Office to serve the system's users and the wider public.  
Forty years on, the Convention has stood the test of time extremely well, and remains a historic landmark for European co-operation in the patent field. That is why we are marking this jubilee with a new edition which includes the 1991 and 2000 revisions. 
At the same time, the Community patent project is finally nearing completion, and under its new name of unitary patent will soon round out the European patent system. Another of the Convention's great merits is that its Part IX has always made provision for the European Patent Office to be entrusted with additional tasks relating to unitary patents. On this foundation, already laid in the 1973 Convention, the new unitary system will now be built, strengthening the patent system in Europe.  
The European Patent Office is very pleased to have been given these new tasks, enabling it to continue working to promote innovation and the competitiveness of European industry. 
Benoît Battistelli 
President of the EPO 

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