Europe Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Signing of the European Patent Convention


On 17 October this year, in Munich, Germany took place a series of events dedicated to the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the European Patent Convention, which was signed in Munich on 5 October 1973.

The Convention was inspired by the vision of a group of convinced Europeans, who had personally suffered from the Second World War and thought, like the founding fathers of the European Economic Community, that the establishment of a supranational patent system would significantly strengthen the European economy, forge closer bonds between Europeans and help to shape a peaceful and prosperous Europe.

“After forty years, we can say that the EPC, which created the European Patent Office, has provided the ground for building a real success, not only from a technical point of view but also in its European and political dimension”, declared EPO President Benoit Battistelli. “The high quality of products and services delivered by the EPO is acknowledged across the globe. Ever since it was set up, the EPO has played an active role in fostering innovation and has given Europe a strong voice in its ongoing dialogue with the other world leaders in technology”, added Benoit Battistelli.

The ceremony was attended by over 300 personalities of the 38 member states of the European Patent Organization, and EPO’s partners, the European patent system users, senior officials from the EU, USA, China, Japan, etc. The event was attended by a Moldovan delegation led by the Director General of AGEPI Lilia Bolocan.

The festivities were launched in commemoration of Johannes Bob van Benthem – the first president of the European Patent Office, one of the founders of the European Patent Convention and the name of the square in front of the headquarters of the organization in memory of the first president of the EPO. The inauguration was attended by the Mayor of Munich Christian Ude who mentioned in his speech that Munich is the European Capital of innovations and patents, and assignment of the Bob-van-Benthem name to a town square comes only to confirm this fact.

Anniversary program continued with the inauguration of an exhibition dedicated to the most distinguished European inventors, laureates of the eight editions of the “European Inventor Award”, exhibition hosted by the famous Deutsches Museum - the largest scientific and technological museum in the world.

Participants in the symposium organized in the afternoon of October 17, dedicated to the 40 years of evolution of the European patent system, had the opportunity to hear Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council who focused on the need to implement the unitary patent system and EU Unified Patent Court, noting that: “The Unitary Patent marks the end of a 40-year odyssey and opens new horizons for European entrepreneurs”. The symposium was also attended by Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Commissioner of the Chinese Intellectual Property Office Tian Lipu, EPO government representatives of the EPO member states and large European companies. Discussions at the symposium were focused mainly on the role of innovation in the European space and development trends of the patent system in the current conditions of globalization. In the event was also presented the memorial book dedicated to the 40 years of development of the EPC “A European Success Story for Innovation”, which is a foray into what it signified, what is and what is intended to be the European patent system in the data, testimonials, people and deeds.

Anniversary Program ended with a reception hosted by the Bavarian Government in Munich Residenz and a concert by the Munich Patent Orchestra.

More information about the anniversary can be found on the EPO website: