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The European patent system - a success

The European Patent Office (EPO) is an example of successful economic and political co-operation between the states of Europe, providing patent protection in up to 19 European countries on the basis of a single patent application and a single grant procedure. European patent applications and patents can also be extended to countries signing agreements to that effect with the European Patent Organisation.


Member states and their dates of accession
AT Austria 01.05.1979
BE Belgium 07.10.1977
CH Switzerland 07.10.1977
CY Cyprus 01.04.1998
DE Germany 07.10.1977
DK Denmark 01.01.1990
ES Spain 01.10.1986
FI Finland 01.03.1996
FR France 07.10.1977
GB United Kingdom 07.10.1977
GR Greece 01.10.1986
IE Ireland 01.08.1992
IT Italy 01.12.1978
LI Liechtenstein 01.04.1980
LU Luxembourg 07.10.1977
MC Monaco 01.12.1991
NL Netherlands 07.10.1977
PT Portugal 01.01.1992
SE Sweden 01.05.1978


Extension states (as at 01.06.2000)
AL Albania 01.02.1996
LT Lithuania 05.07.1994
LV Latvia 01.05.1995
MK former Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia 01.11.1997
RO Romania 15.10.1996
SI Slovenia 01.03.1994


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