The European patent information policy of the European Patent Organisation (EPO) derives from a 1988 decision of the Administrative Council of the EPO. The intent of the policy is to improve access to patent information for European users, to encourage innovation and to strengthen Europe's position on technical information exchange with Japan and the USA. The EPO markets a number of data products, such as CD‐ROM and online databases, including the services of INPADOC, which was integrated with the EPO in 1990. These data are available at cost to non‐commercial organisations and at market rates for commercial use. The information is also disseminated through European national patent offices, with whom the EPO maintains a close cooperation.
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