The EPO

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 […]

200 Million Legal Status Records


This week I have the pleasure of writing on a notable achievement in the European Patent Office: we have recently reached 200 million legal status records in our databases. It is another landmark in the EPO’s mission to provide users with accurate and extensive patent information. The provision of patent information, such as regularly updated […]

Achievements and trends in 2015


Earlier today I was in Brussels for the EPO’s Annual Results press conference. In front of a packed audience, I had the opportunity to speak about the significant recent trends in patent applications, as well as to review the remarkable achievements that the EPO has made over the course of the last year. The results […]

Ensuring Transparency


Today we have taken a significant step in improving our Office’s transparency with the publishing of our Service Regulations. These are the rules that govern the conditions of employment for all EPO staff and which ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of our office by providing staff with a framework of rules that clearly define […]