Archive for November 2011

European Patent Academy – developing a patent culture in Europe


Last week, I had the pleasure to attend the 12th meeting of the EPO Academy’s Supervisory Board, made up of representatives of the EPO member states, partners such as the EU Commission and the WIPO and (soon) OHIM academies, and patent professionals from the European Patent Institute (epi) and BusinessEurope. This institution is particularly dear […]

Peter Messerli – 15 years serving the European patent system


Last Tuesday, the EPO held a ceremony to bid farewell to Peter Messerli, its vice-president in charge of the boards of appeal (“VP3”), who is retiring at the end of this month. During three 5-year terms from 1996 onwards, Peter has been instrumental in establishing the boards’ excellent reputation worldwide. The award for outstanding achievement […]

Trilateral co-operation – working to make life easier for users


This week, the EPO had the pleasure to host the annual Trilateral conference. We held it in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, with my counterparts David Kappos (USPTO) and Yoshiyuki Iwai (JPO) also attending. This was the 29th such event; the first one was organised back in 1983, which shows how quickly our three offices, accounting for […]

Patents and biotechnology – latest developments


In no other area are patentability issues so controversial as in biotechnology. That might appear surprising; after all, the R&D work done in this field can pave the way for new therapies with enormous medical and commercial potential, so encouraging it through patents might seem only logical. But patents are also ownership rights, which some […]