The EPO

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 […]

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 […]

2012 – towards a stronger Europe


First of all, let me wish you all a Happy New Year! This is traditionally the time to review the achievements of the old year, and to look ahead – with good resolutions! – to the challenges of the new one. As I said in my last blogpost, 2011 was a busy and positive year […]

2011 – a good year for the EPO


As the year draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to review our main achievements. The EPO did well in 2011, despite Europe’s economic difficulties. We now reckon with almost 250 000 filings, beating last year’s record of 235 000 – which however was due partly to a one-off surge in […]

European Patent Academy – developing a patent culture in Europe


Last week, I had the pleasure to attend the 12th meeting of the EPO Academy’s Supervisory Board, made up of representatives of the EPO member states, partners such as the EU Commission and the WIPO and (soon) OHIM academies, and patent professionals from the European Patent Institute (epi) and BusinessEurope. This institution is particularly dear […]

Peter Messerli – 15 years serving the European patent system


Last Tuesday, the EPO held a ceremony to bid farewell to Peter Messerli, its vice-president in charge of the boards of appeal (“VP3”), who is retiring at the end of this month. During three 5-year terms from 1996 onwards, Peter has been instrumental in establishing the boards’ excellent reputation worldwide. The award for outstanding achievement […]

Our users on board


Last week, in Munich and Berlin, I had the opportunity to meet three major different user associations: the executive committee of FICPI (the international federation of IP attorneys), the GRUR (the oldest and largest grouping of German IP experts) and the BDI (the umbrella organisation for German industry). It is always a real pleasure for […]