Patents

The role of user feedback in developing future orientations


Discussing  objectives with our users has helped the EPO to make sure that the services we deliver are the services that are actually needed. Major projects such as Early Certainty and the Reform of the Boards of Appeal were both born out of extensive consultation with applicants and their representatives. As we look to present […]

A responsive EPO


Earlier today at the Bibliothèque Solvay in Brussels – aptly named after a Belgian inventor – I had the honour of presenting the EPO’s results at our annual press conference.  The full report reveals that 2017 was a positive year for innovation and the EPO itself, and I want to draw out some elements here […]

The role of the EPO in 4IR


In the last few days the EPO has published a compelling report on a topic that has the ability to change our industries and indeed society. Industry 4.0, or the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ (4IR), signifies the massive deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT). Billions of devices at home and at work, equipped with sensors, […]

Reducing the EPO’s fees


Last week our Office put forward a series of ground breaking proposals to reduce EPO fees. If adopted by our Organisation’s Member States in December, the measures will lower a number of costs in the patent application process and help reinforce a more business friendly-approach in support of innovation. A carefully controlled fee policy is […]

The value of patents for SMEs


One of the essential elements of any competitive economy is the prevalence of thriving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With ambitious ideas and innovative solutions, SMEs are often attributed with injecting great energy and productivity into both traditional and new sectors. Year on year, the EPO receives around one third of its applications from SMEs. […]

40% more patents granted as quality rises further


Earlier this week I was in Brussels to present the EPO’s annual results. There we welcomed more journalists that we have ever had present at this annual press conference. Media coverage has already proved expansive with reports from major outlets analysing the main trends – a positive sign of the wider interest in European innovation. […]

The importance of patents to the European economy


Today the EPO and EUIPO published their latest study on the value of Intellectual Property Intensive (IPR) industries. It is the second such joint report carried out that assesses the value of industries that intensively use patents, copyright and trademarks, among others. The results show that once again, IPR intensive industries are playing a defining role […]

2015: A year of substantial progress


For the sixth year in a row, we have witnessed a growth in the demand for the EPO’s services in terms of both filings (around +1%) and applications for patents (+5%). These figures for 2015 are preliminary and we look forward to  publishing more detailed figures at the beginning of March. Against this backdrop of […]

Climate change mitigation and the role of patents


With COP 21 underway in Paris, negotiators from over 190 countries are seeking to bolster global efforts to mitigate climate change. Scientists have been clear that unless emissions are reduced, there could be catastrophic consequences for the earth’s environment and population. While many courses of action are being discussed, it is the increasing use of […]

Early Certainty from Search: One Year On


At the European Patent Office we have seen the demand for patents increase consistently over the last five years. The number of annual direct European patent filings has increased by almost 30,000 since 2010 and in 2014 we received a total of 274,174. Now, more than ever, we face the need to reconcile increasing demand […]