The EPO

Improving lives through innovation and patents


Today the world is celebrating the benefits that are brought by intellectual property. Seventeen years on from its launch by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), this year’s theme for World Intellectual Property Day is ‘Innovation – Improving Lives’. Nowhere have we seen that link more explicitly than at the EPO, where patents have protected […]

40% more patents granted as quality rises further


Earlier this week I was in Brussels to present the EPO’s annual results. There we welcomed more journalists that we have ever had present at this annual press conference. Media coverage has already proved expansive with reports from major outlets analysing the main trends – a positive sign of the wider interest in European innovation. […]

The BoA: New President, new era


This week the EPO welcomed Carl Josefsson as the new President of the Boards of Appeal. It is a great opportunity for a judiciary that has been reformed to enhance its efficiency and to further assure users of its independence. This new era opens under the leadership of an experienced patent judge. Indeed, previous to […]

The rights and obligations of an international organisation


Last Friday the Supreme Court of the Netherlands conclusively endorsed the EPO’s immunity and the validity of its legal framework. It follows a case originally brought before the national courts of the Netherlands by one of the EPO`s trade unions, which asserted that it had no means to legally challenge recent reforms within the Office. […]

2017: Consolidating gains, further improvements


Yesterday, I was able to discuss the EPO’s priorities for the coming year at a special event with our staff. It was an opportunity to review the developments of the last twelve months in a meeting in Munich, attended by over 350 staff members and viewed online by employees throughout the organisation. Almost one year […]

Providing the latest online services


This week I’m reporting back from our most recent Online Services User Day in Monaco. The event last Thursday and Friday saw over 120 attendees come from across Europe to Monaco to obtain the latest information on our online services and learn about the most recent developments at the EPO. This was in fact the […]

A stronger and more sustainable Office


The EPO is an organisation that has always strived to improve its standards: greater legal robustness of its patents, higher quality services, more useful patent information, more intensive international cooperation. These are just a few of the areas into which we have channelled our efforts in order to deliver benefits for our users everywhere and […]

Meeting User Expectations


Over the course of the last ten days, myself and other delegates from the EPO have embarked on an ambitious agenda of meetings with our users from around the world. Feedback from those attending the events, from Manhattan to Milan to Munich, has revealed that we are now in a phase where users’ expectations and […]

The Expansion of Early Certainty


Over the years the EPO has built its reputation upon quality, providing our users with legally robust intellectual property protection. But, as with any good service, good products need to be delivered on time. This is particularly so for our users, as innovators and investors look for certainty at an early stage in the process. […]

EPO Boards of Appeal: a landmark reform


At the meeting of the Administrative Council last week, the EPO’s Member States adopted a proposal from the Office for reform of the Boards of Appeal, one of the most significant decisions in the history of our Organisation. Indeed, reform of the Boards of Appeal has been a topic on the table for some time […]