European Patent Office

The unitary patent and the European Patent Court – negotiations nearly complete?


Will we get a decision this year? On 5 December, the EU Competitiveness Council discussed the unitary patent and European Patent Court package. Although no final decision was taken, well-informed sources say that agreement is not far off. The Polish EU presidency is doing its best to achieve it by the end of the year, […]

European Patent Academy – developing a patent culture in Europe


Last week, I had the pleasure to attend the 12th meeting of the EPO Academy’s Supervisory Board, made up of representatives of the EPO member states, partners such as the EU Commission and the WIPO and (soon) OHIM academies, and patent professionals from the European Patent Institute (epi) and BusinessEurope. This institution is particularly dear […]

Peter Messerli – 15 years serving the European patent system


Last Tuesday, the EPO held a ceremony to bid farewell to Peter Messerli, its vice-president in charge of the boards of appeal (“VP3”), who is retiring at the end of this month. During three 5-year terms from 1996 onwards, Peter has been instrumental in establishing the boards’ excellent reputation worldwide. The award for outstanding achievement […]

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 […]

Commissioner Barnier in Munich


Last week, I was delighted to welcome to the EPO an EU delegation led by Michel Barnier, the EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, and including two Members of the European Parliament, Cecilia Wikström (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) and Eva Lichtenberger (Green Party). The main purpose of this first official visit […]

My first official visit to Serbia


Last week, I had the privilege of paying my first official visit to Serbia, which became a member of the European Patent Organisation exactly one year ago. Serbia enjoys a long tradition of industrial property: in fact, it was one of the founding fathers of the Paris Convention signed back in 1883. It was therefore […]

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 […]

The road to patent law harmonisation


On 5 and 6 July, a group of European delegates (from Denmark, France, Germany, the UK and the EPO) gathered in Tegernsee (Germany) at the EPO’s invitation for an informal meeting with the heads of the US and Japanese Patent Offices to explore possible ways of moving towards international patent law harmonisation. Some of you […]

A year on


I took up my duties as President of the EPO on 1 July 2010 and the time seems to have flown since then. Not surprisingly, I suppose: it was quite a busy twelve months. A lot of ground was prepared, major projects like the IT roadmap were launched, and important decisions were taken. One of […]