Unitary patent

Croatia’s EU accession – good news for Europe


Today, Croatia joined the European Union as its 28th full member. It has already been a member of the European Patent Organisation since 1 January 2008, playing a very active role in both institutional matters and our co-operation activities. Last year in Zagreb, the Croatian IP office and the EPO co-hosted an important European Patent […]

US feedback on recent developments in the European patent system


Last week, in the margins of the IP5 meeting, I had the opportunity to meet a number of senior IP executives from companies based in California. I always welcome this kind of direct contact with the EPO’s users, giving us a chance to inform them about our current projects and activities and to hear their […]

Moving ahead with the unitary patent: the Select Committee holds its first meeting


After the adoption of the EU regulations on the unitary patent in December 2012 and the recent signing of the international agreement on the Unified Patent Court, a further milestone was reached last week with the convening of the so-called Select Committee. Representatives of the 25 member states participating in the unitary patent met with […]

Pushing for quality: messages from the EPO’s economic and scientific advisers


This week, the EPO’s Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB) published the results of its activities in 2012, investigating three topics of its own choosing: fee policy, quality and patent thickets. The valuable reports on these sensitive issues are accompanied by recommendations for improving the patent system. The ESAB is an independent body, and its […]

Breakthrough for a Unified Patent Court in Europe


Yesterday in Brussels, a historic moment arrived with the signing by 24 EU member states of the international Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC). This completes the unitary patent package, following the recent entry into force of the two Regulations adopted in December last year. After more than 40 years of fruitless attempts to […]

The Cooperative Patent Classification – a decisive step forward in patent harmonisation


This is my first blog post in 2013, so let me start by wishing you all the very best for the new year. 2012 ended with the historic decisions of the EU on the unitary patent package. For the EPO, 2013 will be marked in particular by the 40th anniversary of the signing of the […]

The unitary patent – Europe gives a boost to innovation


Finally, the EU institutions managed to agree last week on the so-called patent package, including the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court. They deserve all praise for this landmark result. The decision is in keeping with Europe’s continuous efforts to raise its competitiveness and attractiveness. Looking back at the interminable, fruitless debates on this […]

Listening to our users


In recent weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet two important delegations of users, one from Japan – with JETRO acting as a co-organiser – and the other from the American Bar Association. US and Japanese users account for a large proportion of filings at the EPO (44% of the total in 2011), so […]

High-level gathering of European patent judges in Dublin


Last week in Dublin, from 4 to 7 September, the mood was celebratory, with a double anniversary. Dublin Castle was the venue for the 16th European Patent Judges’ Symposium, exactly 30 years after the first of these events, in 1982, and 20 years after Ireland’s accession to the European Patent Convention, which took effect on […]