innovation

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 […]

Greening the EPO


A few days ago, I opened “Greening the EPO”, an event organised by EPO Facility Management staff and our Amicale, or social committee. I was delighted to do so, for two main reasons. First, at the EPO we are well aware of the many possibilities for reducing the adverse effects of human activity on the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]