The EPO

European patent filings hit another high in 2012


Today saw the publication of the preliminary figures for European patent filings in 2012, which show an increase for the third year in a row. The total of almost 258 000 was nearly 5.7% above the figure for 2011. Three main regions account for almost 95% of the filings: 37% came from EPO member states; […]

The European Patent Academy


Last week, in Munich, I had the opportunity to meet members of the Supervisory Board of the Academy of the European Patent Organisation. My discussions with the Board members reminded me just how important the work of our Academy is. Nowadays, with the information society extending into every aspect of our lives, IP is headline […]

Patent information, a top priority for the EPO


With 450 participants from 42 countries, the 2012 EPO Patent Information Conference in Hamburg was a record-breaking success. The conference, held in Hamburg from 6 to 8 November, was the 22nd event of its kind, offering, like its predecessors, a unique opportunity to meet patent information experts, service providers and industry representatives from all over […]

The Nobel Peace Prize for the EU


The decision to bestow the Nobel Prize on the EU was certainly unexpected. But the honour is fully deserved. The award powerfully underlines the essential message of European unity, aside from the usual stories of economic woes, bureaucracy, regulatory nitpicking and incomprehensible decision-making processes. After centuries of conflict, after two world wars and the worst […]

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 […]