European Inventor Award 2015

Yesterday we were delighted to hold the 2015 European Inventor Award ceremony at the Palais Brongniart in Paris to honour some of Europe’s – and the world’s – most dedicated and talented inventors. It was a valuable opportunity for us all to recognise their extraordinary achievements in the fields of innovation and research. This year, […]

The spirit of Artur Fischer

I first met Artur Fischer during the European Inventor Award ceremony in Berlin in June 2014 when he received the Lifetime Achievement Award. I was most impressed by this extraordinary character – the 95-year-old doyen of inventors, the “man of 1000 patents”, as the German press reverentially refer to him. He invited me to visit his […]

PATLIB 2014 – a successful networking event

The PATLIB conference, a yearly event organised since 1990, took place in Istanbul last week. This year’s conference was dedicated to networking, enabling PATLIB representatives to share experiences and best practices. All our member states were represented, with the number of attendees – 260 – far outstripping the previous record total of 180. The conference […]

The EPO at 40 – a European and technical success

Last week, on 17 October, the EPO marked the 40th anniversary of the signing of the European Patent Convention, which took place in Munich on 5 October 1973. I had the pleasure of welcoming many guests from all over the world, in particular from Europe, the US and Asia. Among those attending the events organised […]

Dynamic trends in the global patent system

At this year’s WIPO Assemblies, which began last week in Geneva, I had the opportunity to meet many heads of IP offices. My immediate impression was of a widespread determination to modernise national frameworks and ensure that innovation policy and the patent system are at the top of national agendas. In most cases, these plans […]

Moving patent information up the agenda

This week in Munich I met the Board of the Patent Documentation Group, a long-established association of companies seeking to promote the effective use of patent information. We talked in depth about improvements, current projects and outstanding issues in this key area. Opportunities for such exchanges are limited, as most user groups tend to focus […]

Patentability: maintaining the balance

New IP challenges arise as new technologies emerge from R&D activities. This has been a pivotal issue for the patent system throughout its history, with the continual extension of its scope due to technical progress. In Europe, the mechanisms established 40 years ago with the signing of the European Patent Convention  have proved to be […]

First half of 2013 – a preliminary assessment

The end of the summer break is usually a good time to review the first half of the year and see if any trends are already apparent from the facts and figures available. So this could be a good opportunity to update you on our activities, even if some of the data is still provisional. […]

A new building in The Hague

As an organisation requiring top performance from its staff, the EPO is committed to provide a working environment that meets the highest international standards. A central aspect of this concerns the buildings in which staff carry out their daily tasks. The EPO’s building policy has to cater for five sites of very different size, in […]

Europe Day to celebrate a strong and successful European patent system

This week, to mark Europe Day on 9 May, I was very pleased to welcome to Munich Mr Rapkay from the European Parliament, who played an instrumental role in the unitary patent project, along with many representatives from the EU institutions, the Bavarian government, the Bavarian parliament and the City of Munich plus several distinguished members […]