There are thirty-eight member states that are signatory to the European Patent Convention (EPC), including several major markets such as Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and the UK. A patent application for any member states can be filed either with the desired member states directly or with a common patent office known as the European Patent Office (EPO).
While the EPO does have the power to grant a European patent, the granted European Patent still needs to validated individually in each member state where the applicant has business interests, before the European Patent can be enforced in that member state. Official languages of filing the patent application with the EPO are English, French, and German. If the application is not filed in one of these languages, a certified translation has to be submitted along with the application.