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50 Years of the European Patent Convention

DPMA President on DPMA roof terrace, in the background the European Patent Office

DPMA President congratulates on European success story

Exactly 50 years ago today, on 5 October 1973, 16 participating states signed the European Patent Convention in Munich. This treaty under international law laid the foundation for today's European patent system. On the occasion of the celebrations, DPMA President Eva Schewior congratulated: "The signing of the European Patent Convention 50 years ago was a major milestone. Today we can say that it was the beginning of a real success story. The European Patent Organisation has established itself alongside the national IP systems and has become an important player in the international IP ecosystem. We congratulate it warmly on this day! As a partner for the protection of innovations - and, of course, also as a good neighbour in the European patent capital Munich."

Anniversary event with outlook on a sustainable future

To mark the anniversary, an event was held today in Munich and The Hague, which you could follow live on the externer Link European Patent Office's website and on social media.

Congratulating on the anniversary were:

  • Rumen Radev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor
  • Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
  • Alexander Schallenberg, Foreign Minister of Austria
  • Carl Josefsson, President of the Boards of Appeal
  • Josef Kratochvíl, Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation and President of the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic

Afterwards, the winners of the "Joint Children's Art Competition" were presented. The competition aims to connect people through art, inspire young people and strengthen the culture of diversity.

The afternoon programme featured exciting roundtable roundtable discussions on "Technologies for a Sustainable Future", "We're Taking Off: How space technologies are changing life on Earth", "Innovation for the well-being of all" and "Talking digital".

Video statement by Ministerialdirigent Dr. Christian Wichard

Just in time for the anniversary, the European Patent Office has published externer Link Video-Statements of the participating national patent offices/national authorities on its website. On behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Christian Wichard, Assistant Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice, emphasises: "The European Patent Office offers uniform patent protection throughout the European area, namely first-class European patent protection. It is an example of what can be achieved through cooperation based on mutual respect, trust and professionalism. For the next 50 years, I hope first of all that the European unitary patent system will continue to develop well. I also hope that the EPO continues to establish itself as a strong voice for Europe in the world and as a global leader in developing responses to global challenges. And as a third aspect, I would like to emphasise that the European Patent Office continues to prove itself as a model for functioning European cooperation."

Picture: DPMA

Last updated: 26 January 2024