This week, I am proud to reflect upon hugely positive findings from a recent survey carried out by a leading trade publication.
The latest benchmarking survey published by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine has found that the EPO is the leading IP office in the world for both quality of patents issued and the level of service offered. For five weeks between February and late March this year, IAM conducted a comprehensive survey to garner readers’ opinions on issues in the global IP market. The results have been extremely encouraging for us.
The EPO has been ranked as the number one organisation among the IP5 for the quality of patents issued. Depending upon the group surveyed, up to 87% of respondents ranked patents issued by the EPO as ‘excellent’, ‘very good’ or ‘good’. It was not only the quality of patents that was the subject of high praise; we were also confirmed as the office offering the highest level of service.
It is all the more rewarding because the EPO has always been clear about its quality policy when it comes to the actual patents issued and the way in which we do so. Not only do we wish to meet expectations, we want to exceed them. The EPO has a clear vision to offer patents with the highest legal validity, a reliable efficient, effective service, as well as openness and to enhance consistency of products, among other aims.
Delivering on quality is a continual challenge in the modern patent system. The number of patent filings worldwide is on the rise and has put our services even more in demand. There are growing volumes of vast data to search when considering the patentability of each invention we examine. And, technologies are becoming ever more interconnected and complex.
With these latest results, I am delighted to see that we are continuing to address those significant challenges. The EPO continues to be a benchmark of quality among the large patent offices. High-quality patents are essential for providing the necessary legal certainty that is so important for innovative companies seeking protection for their inventions in a highly competitive and globalised market.
These results have been achieved by ensuring that we have highly professional staff who are equipped with the most modern systems. And we will work to ensure that remains the case by continuing to invest in quality and efficiency policy, of which staff training, cutting edge IT systems, streamlined structures and procedures are integral parts.
I also believe that confirmation of high-quality patents and the ability to offer a world-class service is the direct result of a great deal of hard work by a great number of many dedicated staff here at the EPO. I would like to thank them for ensuring that the very highest standards continue to be achieved.
Last week I attended the IP5 Heads of Office meeting in Suzhou, China, to discuss progress on a number of developments that are of primary importance to the five largest patent offices in the world. At the 8th meeting of its kind, Mr. Shen Changyu, Commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s […]
Soon after the Court of Justice of the European Union dismissed legal challenges against two regulations forming part of the unitary patent package on 5 May, I welcomed the decisions as further justification for pressing ahead with preparations for implementing those regulations. The Court’s findings represent another cleared hurdle in a process whose goal is clear: […]
Last week, the Court of Justice of the European Union dismissed legal challenges against the Unitary Patent Package. The two Regulations creating the new Unitary Patent and laying down its language regime are not in conflict with European Union law. That is the clear and decisive ruling from the Court of Justice. It confirms the […]
Last week the members of FICPI – Fédération Internationale des Conseils en Propriété Intellectuel, gathered in the stunning city of Cape Town, South Africa, for their World Congress, under the motto “Adapt to Advance”. FICPI has nowadays around 5000 members in more than 80 countries and regions, all of them qualified and experienced IP professionals […]
Last week in Brussels I presented the EPO’s annual results for 2014 at a well-attended conference with many journalists. For the fifth year in a row our growth continued for patent filings (+3.1% and almost 275 000 filings in 2014), representing a new record and confirming a positive trend (+10 000 patent filings each year […]
Last year was a milestone for the EPO’s Quality Management System (QMS). It was the culmination of several years of work in a variety of areas – implementing and refining measurements, establishing operational quality controls, documenting procedures and internal auditing of the QMS process. We crowned these efforts at the end of 2014 with the […]
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 […]
This week we witnessed an historic “first” from the perspective of the European Patent Organisation: the validation agreement with Morocco. Indeed the EPO, starting with 7 member states in 1977, now boasts 38 countries representing a market of 600 million inhabitants. Two other European states, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, have the status of “extension states”: the […]
This week we published our preliminary filing figures for 2014. Although the precise numbers are still being worked on, indications are that we saw over 270 00 filings last year, an increase of approximately 3%. This is in line with the trend observed over the last four years with annual increases between 2% and 4%. […]