International patent treaties

Last checked on:
4 July 2022
Published on:
26 March 2021

Various international treaties regulate aspects within the patent system. They have determined a significant part of the content of the current Patents Act 1995.

Treaty overview

Treaty Year of formation Most important aspects
Paris Convention (implemented in the Patent Act 1995) 

Paris 188

  • Principle of assimilation
  • Regulations for right of priority
  • Exhibition priority
  • Foundation of national agencies
WIPO Treaty  Stockholm 1967 Founding of World Intellectual Property Organization
Strasbourg Treaty (implemented in the Patent Act 1995) Strasbourg 1963
  • Harmonisation of national patent acts
  • Substantive law
Strasbourg Agreement  1971 International classification of patents
Community Patent Convention (has not yet entered into force) Luxembourg 1975
  • Introduction of community patent
  • Additional effect: harmonisation of national patent acts
Cooperation Treaty
Washington 1970
  • Regulation of international application procedure
  • Novelty search is carried out centrally
European Patent Convention
Munich 1973/2000
  • Regulations for the application and granting of European patents by the European Patent Office
  • Centralisation of the patenting process within Europe
  • additional effect: harmonization of national patent acts
  • Also for Member States outside of the EU (such as Türkiyeand Switzerland)
  • Radically amended in 2000 (entered into force on 13 December 2007)
London Agreement re. EPC 
(Translations Protocol)
(implemented in the Patent Act 1995)
London 2000
  • Requirements that can be placed upon the translation of European patents
  • In force since 1 May 2008
Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of International Property Rights (TRIPS) Marrakech 1994
  • Requirements for (minimum) patent protection and enforcement of patent rights in contracting states
  • Harmonisation of national patent acts
  • Annex to WTO agreement
Directive for biotechnological inventions (implemented in the Patent Act 1995)
(see downloads)
Brussels 1998
  • Regulations for the patentability of biotechnological inventions
  • Harmonisation of national patent acts
Regulation relating to the granting of supplementary protection certificates
Brussels 1992/1996 Regulation for additional protection of medicines and crop protection products
Treaty of Budapest 1977 International recognition of the deposit of micro-organisms for the purpose of the grant procedure
Enforcement guideline
(see downloads)
Brussels 2004
  • Enforcement of intellectual property rights
  • Harmonisation of national patent acts


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