European Union

An extended mandate – confirming the way forward

When I started my term as EPO President on 1 July 2010, I found a situation of stark contrasts. The Office had evolved successfully over the previous decades as a recognised technical institution, yet in some strategic areas it was facing a crisis of maturity. While some IT tools and services, such as EPOQUE and […]

Progress in 2013 on the unitary patent package

Less than a year after the entry into force of the EU Regulations on unitary patent protection and the signing of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC), it is gratifying to see the steady progress in the preparation and implementation of these two major projects for the benefit of inventors and industry in […]

Measuring IP’s economic benefits

Last week in Brussels, at a press conference with Commissioner Michel Barnier and OHIM President António Campinos, I had the pleasure of presenting an EPO/OHIM joint study on the economic impact of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the EU. The study has a pioneering significance. Although some research has already been done on specific IP […]

Croatia’s EU accession – good news for Europe

Today, Croatia joined the European Union as its 28th full member. It has already been a member of the European Patent Organisation since 1 January 2008, playing a very active role in both institutional matters and our co-operation activities. Last year in Zagreb, the Croatian IP office and the EPO co-hosted an important European Patent […]

Tribute to our brilliant inventors

The European Inventor Award (EIA) ceremony held in Amsterdam on 28 May was a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to some of our most creative and inspiring inventors. Many representatives of the worlds of politics, industry, academia and industrial property took part in this event, including Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Michel […]

Moving ahead with the unitary patent: the Select Committee holds its first meeting

After the adoption of the EU regulations on the unitary patent in December 2012 and the recent signing of the international agreement on the Unified Patent Court, a further milestone was reached last week with the convening of the so-called Select Committee. Representatives of the 25 member states participating in the unitary patent met with […]

Breakthrough for a Unified Patent Court in Europe

Yesterday in Brussels, a historic moment arrived with the signing by 24 EU member states of the international Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC). This completes the unitary patent package, following the recent entry into force of the two Regulations adopted in December last year. After more than 40 years of fruitless attempts to […]

The unitary patent – Europe gives a boost to innovation

Finally, the EU institutions managed to agree last week on the so-called patent package, including the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court. They deserve all praise for this landmark result. The decision is in keeping with Europe’s continuous efforts to raise its competitiveness and attractiveness. Looking back at the interminable, fruitless debates on this […]

The Nobel Peace Prize for the EU

The decision to bestow the Nobel Prize on the EU was certainly unexpected. But the honour is fully deserved. The award powerfully underlines the essential message of European unity, aside from the usual stories of economic woes, bureaucracy, regulatory nitpicking and incomprehensible decision-making processes. After centuries of conflict, after two world wars and the worst […]