European patent and European Patent Convention (EPC)
You can get a European Patent valid in member countries of European Patent Convention (EPC) by filing a single application for a European Patent (EP application). The convention has been signed by 38 countries and two countries have additional extension agreements relating to validation of EP grants. Member countries are called as “EPC countries” or “European Patent Organization Member States”.
EP applications are processed by EPO and EP grants are given by European Patent Office (EPO). After a European patent is granted, applicant should decide which member countries of EPC he/she would like to gain patent protection in. A validation application is required in a great number of member countries such as Turkey so that the protection is valid. Applicant should pay annual renewal fees in the relevant country to continue the protection.
As a result, European patent is not a supranational patent; it is a bundle of national patents.
The center of EPO is in Munich. They have offices in Hague and Berlin. At the same time they have a patent information center in Vienna. European Patent Office is an independent organization and it is not a part of European Union (EU).
European Patent Convention (EPC) was signed on the date of 5 October 1973. A single type of application procedure was formed via this convention. Turkey entered into EPC in 2000.
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