European Patent Office president Alain Pompidou expects Latvia and other countries to join the EPO in the near future

Dec 15 2004 - 23:06

After the accession of Lithuania to the EPO on December 1, the geographical scope of protection of European patents expanded to 36 countries.

This number includes Poland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia & Montenegro, all of which also joined or signed extension agreements with the EPO in 2004.

With geographic expansion also came the record 12% increase in the number of European patent applications. This increase only reflects the first nine months of 2004 and it tops previous record number of 177,500 applications.

According to Pampidou, new member and extension states, as well as the increase in the number of applications, signal greater demand for patent protection in Europe and growing importance of the patent system for the European economy.

For more details on the expansion of the European patent system, please contact us.

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