Applying for a patent

Brazil and Europe intensify co operation on patents


Within the group of BRICS countries, Brazil offers both a dynamic economy and attractive new market opportunities. Positive developments are also apparent in intellectual property, where national patent filings have almost doubled over the last five years and now stand at over 30 000 annually. They also have a broad international base: European companies – […]

Another peak year for European patent filings


On Tuesday, we published our preliminary figures for patent filings received in 2011. They reached a new peak of 243 000, up 3% on the 2010 figure (235 000), which was itself a record but boosted in part by the one-off surge in divisional applications. One might have expected the financial and economic crisis in […]

2011 – a good year for the EPO


As the year draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to review our main achievements. The EPO did well in 2011, despite Europe’s economic difficulties. We now reckon with almost 250 000 filings, beating last year’s record of 235 000 – which however was due partly to a one-off surge in […]

Improving the dissemination of patent information


I have just had the pleasure of opening the EPO Patent Information Conference 2011 which is taking place in Kilkenny (Ireland) from 18 to 20 October. Kilkenny occupies a special position in EPO history, as the place where our logo was designed. This conference devoted to one of the EPO’s two main tasks – the […]

Our users on board


Last week, in Munich and Berlin, I had the opportunity to meet three major different user associations: the executive committee of FICPI (the international federation of IP attorneys), the GRUR (the oldest and largest grouping of German IP experts) and the BDI (the umbrella organisation for German industry). It is always a real pleasure for […]

Honouring creative and inventive minds


This week, in Budapest, our sixth successive annual European Inventor Award will be presented in recognition of 15 outstanding inventions nominated in five categories (“Industry”, “SMEs”, “Research”, “Non-European countries” and “Lifetime achievement”) and in honour of the individuals and teams behind them. On Thursday, it will be my very great pleasure to congratulate the five […]

Lessons from Japan


For the last few days, all our thoughts have been with the Japanese people afflicted by a series of dreadful catastrophes. As the crisis has unfolded, I have been deeply moved by their courage and dignity in these tragic circumstances. EPO staff too have shown heartfelt sympathy for their plight. Over the years, the Japanese […]

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New EPO website for our users


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 […]