[ European patent ]
Germany is a leading country for exports, and if it is to retain its lead technologically, it needs to improve its innovativeness – small and medium-size enterprises in particular need to become more adept at exporting their products to other European countries. In many cases, however, this expansion will only be possible if competitors already based in the markets targeted cannot simply adopt new product ideas.
Anyone wishing to obtain protection for innovations in European countries has the possibility of filing a European patent application in German with the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich. That application can extend to some or all of the Contracting States. The great advantage of this procedure is that it is not necessary to negotiate with five, seven or even thirty national patent offices, but only with one – the European Patent Office.