European Patent Convention

January 21, 2021

The 17th edition of the European Patent Convention (EPC) has recently been released.

The European Patent Convention (EPC) is a multilateral treaty which established the European Patent Organisation (EPO) in 1977. The EPC provides a self-governing legal system according to which European patents are granted via a single, harmonised procedure before the EPO.

The EPC is separate from the European Union (EU), and its membership is different. Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Monaco, Iceland, Norway, North Macedonia, San Marino, Albania and Serbia are members of the EPO but are not members of the EU. Although the UK is no longer a member of the EU it remains a member of the EPC.

The 17th edition of the EPC has recently been published which includes all texts as currently in force. The HTML version of the EPC is available here.