Press release | 1.10.2022
1 October 2022
Today Montenegro became the 39th contracting state of the European Patent Organisation. This follows the country's deposit of its instrument of accession to the European Patent Convention (EPC) on 15 July 2022. As of 1 October 2022, European patent applications will include the designation of the new contracting state Montenegro. Moreover, the European Patent Office (EPO) will take over the functions of a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) receiving office and act as a PCT International Search and Examination Authority on behalf of Montenegro.
"The accession of Montenegro highlights the attractiveness of the European patent system for European economies and its potential for growth, as a strong support for innovation in uncertain times," said Josef Kratochvíl, Chairperson of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation.
António Campinos, President of the EPO, the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation, said: "We are delighted to welcome Montenegro as our newest member state and to build on the last 15 years of close co-operation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism and the national IP office, for the benefit of local innovation and our users alike. The accession of Montenegro to the EPC >is also a strong endorsement of the quality of the European patent system."
Commenting on the accession, Goran Đurović, the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism of Montenegro, noted: "Montenegro is pleased and privileged to become a new member state of the European Patent Organisation, which will significantly contribute to enhancing the system for patent protection in Montenegro. Membership of the European Patent Organisation makes Montenegro an integral part of the family of developed European countries that prioritises the effective protection of inventions."
The European Patent Organisation was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation on patents in Europe. It has grown from 16 signatory states of the European Patent Convention in 1973, to 39 contracting states as of 1 October 2022, including all 27 EU member states plus Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Türkiye and the United Kingdom.
The EPO applies a centralised procedure to examine European patent applications for the Organisation's contracting states, in addition to one extension state (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and four validation states (Cambodia, Republic of Moldova, Morocco and Tunisia). This enables inventors, researchers and companies from around the world to obtain high-quality patent protection for their inventions in up to 44 countries, covering a market of some 700 million people. Set up in 1977, the EPO has its headquarters in Munich with offices in The Hague, Berlin, Vienna and Brussels, and employs around 6 300 staff.
Luis Berenguer Giménez
Principal Director Communication, Spokesperson
Tel. +49 89 2399 1833