Last updated: 10.4.2019
Digital technologies are finding their way into every aspect of our modern lives. High levels of digital innovation are causing rapid, even disruptive change to many industries. These technologies include computing and telecommunications, but reach far into other areas like healthcare, transport and agriculture.
Hardware and software
Patents protect new inventions like products and processes, including inventions carried out using computers.
Fourth Industrial Revolution
In December 2017, the EPO presented a study in co-operation with the Handelsblatt Research Institute that examines this profound technology trend that is being observed across a whole range of technical fields.
AI presents the patent system with a number of challenges and opportunities.
Patents and standards
Standards ensure compatibility and interoperability of components, products and services, often from different manufacturers. They define a set of technical requirements for specific items, materials, components, systems or services, or for particular methods or procedures.