The EPO has announced the publication of EP 3,000,000.
The EPO opened for business at the end of 1977, and received just 4,000 European patent applications in its first full year. These first European patent applications covered only 7 countries.
Since then, the project has been a resounding success, with the number of applications filed each year rapidly increasing to the point where around 160,000 new European patent applications are filed each year. More and more countries have joined up since 1977, such that a European patent application filed in 2016 can provide protection in up to 42 countries.
J A Kemp has represented clients of all sizes at the EPO since its inception, and is responsible for around 1% of all European patent applications filed at the EPO each year.