European Inventor Award

Eligibility rules and conditions

To qualify for the European Inventor Award, all entries must satisfy certain formal conditions. Before filling in the entry form, please read the information below. Failure to observe the conditions may result in the candidate's elimination from the competition.

Anyone can submit an entry: whether you work in industry, at a university or research institute or for a professional association, are an individual inventor, or simply have an interest in the work these people do, there are no restrictions. If you are an inventor, you can even put yourself forward.

Eligibility criteria

European Patent icon



An inventor must be granted at least one European patent for an invention by the European Patent Office.


Member states icon


The patent must be maintained in force in at least one EPO member state (except for the Lifetime achievement category).


Inventiveness icon


The patent should show a high degree of inventiveness, display a recognisable benefit to society or the environment and demonstrate proven or potential economic success in Europe.


Inventors Nominated icon

Inventors nominated for the Industry, Research, SMEs and Lifetime achievement categories must be citizens of one of the EPO’s 38 member states. Inventors from outside the EPO’s member states can only be nominated for the Non-EPO countries category.


Invention fields



Inventions from all fields of technology for which a European patent can be granted can be nominated for the European Inventor Award.


Not eligible

Entries will not be considered if:

  • the patent has not yet been granted by the EPO
  • the relevant patent is subject to pending opposition or appeal proceedings
  • the relevant patent is within a nine-month notice of opposition period
  • the patent has been revoked
  • the patent has lapsed or expired in all EPO member states
  • the inventor has already been a finalist or winner in a previous European Inventor Award competition (see the list of past finalists and winners).

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