European Patent Office

IP5 Heads and users associations agreed on next targets

Following a tradition initiated by the USPTO when it organised the first yearly IP5 meeting in 2007 in Hawaii, I had the pleasure to welcome my colleagues last week on another island – Corsica. This particular location helped to create closer links and a better understanding between the world’s five largest patent offices – the […]

ESAB – its first two workshops focus on patent quality and fee policy

Last week, the EPO’s Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB), which was set up in January, held its two first workshops in Munich. They brought together some 40 participants from a variety of professional backgrounds (industry, patent attorneys, academics and economists) for frank and lively discussions about two particularly contentious issues – patent quality and […]

Bilateral EPO – WIPO agreement makes for more efficient and balanced global patent system

It was my great pleasure to welcome WIPO Director General Francis Gurry to Munich last Thursday for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between our two institutions. In this MoU, WIPO and the EPO have agreed to create a dedicated framework for our various common activities. The basic idea is to improve our […]

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 – […]

2011 filings in detail

Back in January, we published a general summary of our preliminary filing figures for 2011. We have now consolidated those figures, giving us a more detailed picture of last year’s main trends and rankings. The data first of all confirms the positive filing results initially reported: the EPO received a total of 244 437 applications […]

Patent Translate service goes live!

Yesterday was D-day for the EPO’s latest patent information service – Patent Translate. When we signed our machine-translation (MT) partnership with Google less than a year ago, we were all eager to see the project come to fruition as soon as possible, and our teams have worked very hard since then to achieve that. So […]

Access to Asian prior art

Following on from the first agreement on our machine translation programme, reached in November 2011 with the Chinese Patent Office (SIPO), this week in Tokyo I was very pleased to be able to sign a similar agreement with another major Asian office, the Japan Patent Office (JPO). Japan and Japanese users have always played an […]

ESAB – the EPO sets up a new economic and scientific tool

Last week, I had the pleasure of taking part in the first meeting of the EPO’s Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB). This new body is made up of eleven men and women, each from a different country (Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Turkey, UK and USA). They have diverse professional backgrounds […]

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 […]