How does the current European patent system work? 

 
 

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The European Patent Convention established a centralised procedure for granting European patents. This procedure is used to process a single patent application in English, French or German, which are the three official languages of the European Patent Organisation (EPO), a non-EU body.


However, a patent issued by EPO must be validated in all the countries where protection is sought. The validation procedure entails high costs, especially for translation services, and makes EU-wide patent protection thirteen times more expensive than in the US.