The Convention on the Grant of European Patents of 5 October 1973, commonly known as the European Patent Convention (EPC), is a multilateral treaty instituting the European Patent Organisation and providing an autonomous legal system according to which European patents are granted. The term European patent is used to refer to patents granted under the European Patent Convention. However, after grant a European patent is not a unitary right, but a group of essentially independent nationally-enforceable, nationally-revocable patents, subject to central revocation or narrowing as a group pursuant to two types of unified, post-grant procedures: a time-limited opposition procedure, which can be initiated by any person except the patent proprietor, and limitation and revocation procedures, which can be initiated by the patent proprietor only.
The EPC provides a legal framework for the granting of European patents, via a single, harmonized procedure before the European Patent Office. A single patent application, in one language, may be filed at the European Patent Office at Munich, at its branches at The Hague or Berlin or at a national patent office of a Contracting State, if the national law of the State so permits.
Read more about European Patent Convention: Background and Rationale, History, Legal Nature and Content, Substantive Patent Law, Unified Prosecution Phase, Opposition, Grant, Effect and Need For Translations, Enforcement and Validity, Term (duration) of A European Patent, Relation With The Patent Cooperation Treaty
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... A European patent application may result from the filing of an international application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the entry into "Europea ... The European patent application is therefore said to be a "Euro-PCT application" and the EPO is said to act as a designated or elected Office ... is no longer possible to obtain a national patent protection through the international (PCT) phase without entering into the regional European phase and obtaining a European patent ...
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