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1 October 2022

Montenegro flag keyvisual

Today Montenegro became the 39th
state to join the European Patent Organisation. This follows the country’s deposition
of its instrument of accession to the European Patent Convention (EPC) on 15
July 2022. As of 1 October 2022, European patent
applications will include the designation of the new contracting state
Montenegro. The European Patent Office (EPO) will also take over the functions
of a PCT receiving office and act as a PCT International Search and Examination
Authority on behalf of Montenegro.

According to Josef Kratochvíl,
Chairperson of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, “The
accession of Montenegro highlights the attractiveness of the European patent
system for European economies and its potential for growth, as a strong support
for innovation in uncertain times

António Campinos, President of the EPO, the executive arm of the
European Patent Organisation said, “We are
delighted to welcome Montenegro as our newest member state. Building on the
last 15 years of close co-operation with the Ministry of Economic Development
and Tourism and the national IP office, we hope that this will benefit local
innovation and our users alike
. The
accession of Montenegro to the EPC
is also a strong endorsement
of the quality of the European Patent system.

Commenting on the accession, Mr Goran Đurović, Minister of
the Montenegrin Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism noted: “Montenegro
is pleased and privileged to become a new member state of the European Patent
Organisation, which will significantly contribute to the enhancement of the
system for patent protection in Montenegro. Membership of the European Patent
Organisation makes Montenegro an integral part of the family of developed
European countries that prioritises the effective protection of inventions”.

The European Patent Organisation was founded with the
aim of strengthening co-operation on patents in Europe. It has grown from 16 signatory states of the European
Patent Convention in 1973, to 39 contracting states as of 1 October
2022, including all 27 EU member states plus Albania,
Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, San
Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Türkiye and the United Kingdom.

The EPO applies a
centralised procedure to examining European patent applications for the
Organisation’s contracting states, one extension
state (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and four validation states (Cambodia,
Republic of Moldova, Morocco and Tunisia). This enables inventors, researchers
and companies from around the world to obtain high-quality patent protection
for their inventions in up to 44 countries, covering a market of some 700 million people. Set up in 1977, the EPO is
headquartered in Munich, with offices in The Hague, Berlin, Vienna and
Brussels, and employs around 6 400 staff.

Further information