Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
The EPO – European Patent Office, with offices in Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Brussels and a new main office building under construction in The Hague, Netherlands, is the executive branch of the European Patent Organization, under the supervision of an Administrative Council.
The European Patent Organization is an intergovernmental organization, set up in 1977, according to the provisions of the European Patent Convention (EPC). Currently, 38 states are members of the European Patent Organization. Thus, that there are more European countries, members of the EPOrg, than there are countries members of the European Union.
Otherwise, between 1993 and 2009, extension agreements were also signed with various countries that are not members of the EPO, two of which are still in force (with BA - Bosnia and Herzegovina and ME Montenegro). Thus, the EPO grants EP patents with protection in up to 40 countries party to the EPC.
The EPOffice website operates in the three official languages of the EPO: English, French, and German, each accessible via a toggle drop down menu located in the upper-right corner of the site pages.
Patent collections from all of the member states are stored in the EspaceNet database, which can be searched in each of the three official languages, and in each national language of the patent offices of the 40 countries party to the EPC.
EPO - European Patent Office website