New member states in the European Patent Organisation
On 1 July 2002, Slovakia (SK), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ) and Estonia (EE) acceded to the European Patent Convention, which means that the convention enters into force in those countries on that date. The European Patent Organisation now consists of 24 member states.
All four of the new member states are also members of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This means that citizens and people residing in the four countries may from 1 July 2002 submit international patent applications to EPO as the receiving authority.
If an applicant in a PCT application (PCT/RO/101) applies for a European patent after 1 July 2002, this automatically includes the four new member states.
Source: The Danish Patent and Trademark Office