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 […]

Patent activities over the summer break

The summer break is traditionally a quiet period for industry and for patents as well, with August usually the month which produces the lowest number of patent filings. However, this summer has seen an unusually high incidence of patent-related activities, including the selling of a mega-portfolio of patents and the launch of major international legal […]

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 […]

Patents and standards can work together

At first sight, patents and standards may seem contradictory. Certainly, when defining a standard to be used by all the players in a particular market, it is indeed vital to know what is patented and what is not. However, sometimes different companies file large numbers of patents around the same technology. This may call for […]

Another step towards an enhanced European IP environment

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to be in Alicante to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). Some may question whether such an agreement between the EPO and OHIM is really needed; they may feel that the principles and procedures governing patents are too different […]


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 […]