01 March 2011
The public launch of a new homepage is always an exciting event. I may have experienced it once or twice before in my career (three years ago at the French IP office, for example) but I have to say that this particular relaunch is really something rather special.
The EPO is a global IP player. That makes this website our window to the world. In the IP profession, there is sometimes a tendency to forget that patenting is as much about disclosing information as securing exclusive rights. So providing that information is a vital part of our daily work. We have to excel at it!
I attach great importance to the EPO’s mission to support economic growth across Europe. For more than 100 years, patent protection has played a pivotal role in the economic cycle from invention to market success. Its importance has increased as Europe moves from the industrial era to a more knowledge-based economy. I hope our website can help innovators to make the right IP choices.
These days, interest in what patent offices do, and how well they do it, is no longer confined to IP professionals; increasingly, it is also shared by the public at large. We will continue to take an active part in this public debate. My new blog is just one contribution. We are also intensifying our interaction with the outside world via social media.
Our revamped website largely reflects the user input we have collected through surveys, tests and feedback sessions. “Business comes first” was the title we gave to our announcement of the new EPO homepage providing a single entry point to our services, including EP Espacenet, the European Patent Register, online filing and online fee payment. I hope you will agree with me that we have indeed succeeded in putting business at the centre of our new website: “Searching for patents”, “Applying for a patent” and “Law & practice” now take pride of place. The number of clicks needed to access information has been reduced, and the site’s structure and design have been improved.
That, of course, is what we think. But what really counts is your opinion as users of our new website. I therefore cordially invite you to give us your feedback, and thus help us develop this tool further to our mutual benefit. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.