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The European patent—its impact on the flavor and fragrance industry

Contact Author Art Liberman
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The European Patent Convention was signed at Munich, Federal Republic of Germany in October 1973 and has come into force in 1978. The so-called “European patent” alleviates the separate filing of patent applications in many countries in Europe.

Why is there a European patent?

New technologies in the essential oil, flavor, and fragrance industries are responsible for a large portion of their industrial growth. If new technology enjoys the protection of a reliable patent, inventions will stimulate expansion. Patents are useful in the attainment of new markets and can form the basis for cooperation between undertakings and for licensing agreements.

The protection of inventions afforded hy the European patent will be less expensive, less complicated, and more reliable.

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Since June 1, 1978, it is possible, by filing a single patent application in one language (English, French, or German) at the European Patent Office, to obtain an examined patent for most West European states. For its proprietor, the European patent will have the same effects as a portfolio of national patents granted in each state which has ratified the European Patent Convention.