The EPO at a glance
Welcome to the EPO
The European Patent Office (EPO) examines European patent applications, enabling inventors, researchers and companies from around the world to obtain protection for their inventions in up to 44 countries through a centralised and uniform procedure that requires just one application.
The EPO is the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation, an international organisation with 38 member states. The EPO’s activities and budget are overseen by the Organisation’s Administrative Council, which consists of representatives of the member states.
Leadership and management
The current President of the European Patent Office is António Campinos. He took up office on 1 July 2018.
The EPO is financed entirely by fees paid by users. In 2019, it has a budget of EUR 2.4 billion.
Geographic scope of the European patent protection
European patents provide protection not only in the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation but also in two extension states and four validation states. This represents an area with some 700 million inhabitants.
Click on the image to view the large format
The three official languages of the EPO are English, French and German. Patent applications may be filed in any of them.
Key figures of 2018
Demand for patents - European patent applications
Top technology fields
5 People's Rep. of China
- Read our brochure Facts and figures
- View all statistics in our Annual Report
- All annual reports of the EPO