The EPO

The EPO on the global stage


The WIPO General Assembly provides a unique opportunity to meet colleagues from IP offices across the globe. Each day is like a world tour, as more and more countries, large and small, near and far, seek to explore the possibilities of cooperation with the EPO. Here are some of the highlights from last week’s bilateral […]

Successful pilot of new web-based service for third-party observations


I have already talked about the IP5 partners’ decision, taken at the last Heads’ meeting in Corsica in June this year, to co-operate on setting up the so-called “Global Dossier”. Under its IT roadmap, adopted in June 2011, the EPO is already working to deliver specific and concrete steps to help realise this project. It […]

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 […]

Further improvements to the EPO’s IT services


Last week in London I met Andy Green, CEO of Logica, to launch a major strategic project – a significant modernisation of our patent-related processes that will set new service levels for the European patent system in the future. To achieve this, we will build an innovative case management system that will support all EPO […]

Towards a more diverse EPO


I have often expressed my firm belief that Europe’s diversity is an asset, not a handicap. It is true that our large family has such a wide variety of traditions, interests and views that it can sometimes be hard to achieve consensus or finalise decisions. In people terms, however, diversity clearly represents opportunity for an […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

EPO-OECD partnership to support public debate on patents


Let’s face it: patent offices have not been in the habit of taking the public stage. They have developed over the years as essentially technical organisations whose highly qualified examiners have the expertise and skills needed to vet patent applications. One very important requirement for any patent office is neutrality: it must examine patent applications […]

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 […]