On the 5th October, 1973 came to light the European Patent Agreement, by which 16 member States founded the European Patent Organization. Already in 1977 it was possible to file a European patent application, being valid in the chosen member states. On the 20th December, 1978 (exactly 40 years ago) the first declaration EP 0000001 was published. Since the implementation of the European Patent Agreement the number of member States has increased from 16 to 38. Today it is even possible to validate a European patent in some African countries and in an Asian country, and hence obtain patent protection in these non European countries. The popularity of the European patent is high despite the ever increasing translation costs. The 100.000th patent was granted in 1988 and in 1991 the 200.000th. Only in 2017 more than 100.000 European patents were granted. It is to hope that the upcoming unitary patent enjoys a similar popularity.