Patents

2015: A year of substantial progress


For the sixth year in a row, we have witnessed a growth in the demand for the EPO’s services in terms of both filings (around +1%) and applications for patents (+5%). These figures for 2015 are preliminary and we look forward to  publishing more detailed figures at the beginning of March. Against this backdrop of […]

Climate change mitigation and the role of patents


With COP 21 underway in Paris, negotiators from over 190 countries are seeking to bolster global efforts to mitigate climate change. Scientists have been clear that unless emissions are reduced, there could be catastrophic consequences for the earth’s environment and population. While many courses of action are being discussed, it is the increasing use of […]

Early Certainty from Search: One Year On


At the European Patent Office we have seen the demand for patents increase consistently over the last five years. The number of annual direct European patent filings has increased by almost 30,000 since 2010 and in 2014 we received a total of 274,174. Now, more than ever, we face the need to reconcile increasing demand […]

Patent activities 2014 in a continuous positive trend


Last week in Brussels I presented the EPO’s annual results for 2014 at a well-attended conference with many journalists. For the fifth year in a row our growth continued for patent filings (+3.1% and almost 275 000 filings in 2014), representing a new record and confirming a positive trend (+10 000 patent filings each year […]

A win-win agreement between the EPO and Morocco


This week we witnessed an historic “first” from the perspective of the European Patent Organisation: the validation agreement with Morocco. Indeed the EPO, starting with 7 member states in 1977, now boasts 38 countries representing a market of 600 million inhabitants. Two other European states, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, have the status of “extension states”: the […]

New peak of patent filings at the EPO in 2014


This week we published our preliminary filing figures for 2014. Although the precise numbers are still being worked on, indications are that we saw over 270 00 filings last year, an increase of approximately 3%. This is in line with the trend observed over the last four years with annual increases between 2% and 4%. […]

2014, another successful year for the EPO


As the year draws to a close, it is time to look back on the achievements of the last twelve months. First, 2014 can be regarded as a very successful year for the EPO, as in many areas we reached our best ever performances. In terms of filings, we expect a 3% – 3.5% increase […]

Key milestone in Stockholm for our new IT tools


The EPO’s Online User Day held last week in Stockholm, attended by more than 200 participants from 20 European countries, marked the start of the roll out of our new patent grant process. As you know, the EPO’s IT Roadmap has identified ways to radically reengineer our business processes to improve efficiency and quality. This programme has […]

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 the harmonisation of the patent system


Last week in Trieste, Italy, I attended two meetings involving patent offices and industry from three regions (Europe, the US and Japan), dedicated to the harmonisation of rules, procedures and practices of the patent system. The first meeting was a further session of the so-called Tegernsee group, composed of heads of Office and experts from […]