The European Patent Office (EPO) is a central cog in the intellectual property community, and according to the EPO website, it “offers inventors a uniform application procedure which enables them to seek patent protection in up to 40 European countries.” The EPO contributes a wide range of valuable search and classification tools for both EP and international patent documents:
- Merger of INPADOC records and the EPO’s own master bibliographic file in 2007 to create the INPADOC/DOCDB database, which covers about 95 patenting authorities.
- The free online search service for EP and worldwide patent documents, Espacenet.
- The official register of legal status information for the EPO, the European Patent Register.
- The ECLA classification system, designed in-house by the EPO as an enhancement to the IPC classification system, which was frozen in July 2012 and will soon be replaced by the Cooperative Patent Classification (a joint effort between the USPTO and EPO).
These contributions are just scratching the surface of the deep wealth of knowledge and resources which the EPO has contributed to the patent search field. As a small tribute to this fantastic organization, I’d like to create a Jack-o’-lantern in its honor (last year the USPTO got its own David Kapp-o’-lantern).
The easiest way to create an EP-O’-Lantern is to simply carve the EPO logo…
…onto the face of a pumpkin:
After the jump, see the EP-O’-Lantern lit up for Halloween night!