Patents

2014, another successful year for the EPO


As the year draws to a close, it is time to look back on the achievements of the last twelve months. First, 2014 can be regarded as a very successful year for the EPO, as in many areas we reached our best ever performances. In terms of filings, we expect a 3% – 3.5% increase […]

Key milestone in Stockholm for our new IT tools


The EPO’s Online User Day held last week in Stockholm, attended by more than 200 participants from 20 European countries, marked the start of the roll out of our new patent grant process. As you know, the EPO’s IT Roadmap has identified ways to radically reengineer our business processes to improve efficiency and quality. This programme has […]

An extended mandate – confirming the way forward


When I started my term as EPO President on 1 July 2010, I found a situation of stark contrasts. The Office had evolved successfully over the previous decades as a recognised technical institution, yet in some strategic areas it was facing a crisis of maturity. While some IT tools and services, such as EPOQUE and […]

Progress in the harmonisation of the patent system


Last week in Trieste, Italy, I attended two meetings involving patent offices and industry from three regions (Europe, the US and Japan), dedicated to the harmonisation of rules, procedures and practices of the patent system. The first meeting was a further session of the so-called Tegernsee group, composed of heads of Office and experts from […]

Filing figures and trends


Last week in Brussels, I was particularly pleased to see the strong attendance of journalists and press agencies at the presentation of our annual results for 2013, despite the heavy international agenda on the day. This is surely a sign of growing interest in innovation and patents, which are increasingly in the public eye. The […]

Early Certainty from Search


Last year, filings at the EPO reached a new peak, with over 265 000 applications. Coping with this workload – while maintaining high quality standards – necessitates action to address a wide range of parameters, including human resources, IT tools, the legal framework of the patent process and the EPO’s internal procedures. With the “Raising […]

IP valuation: a building block for success


Over the past decade, the valuation and monetisation of intellectual property have become ever more important. In the past, the approach to these matters was mainly defensive, when liquidity problems led companies to look for things they could readily sell, including immaterial assets. Latterly, however, the management of patent portfolios has become increasingly dynamic, with […]

2013 at the EPO: sustaining growth and progress


The EPO filing figures for 2013 were published last week. Although they remain preliminary – largely because of the 2013 PCT applications which have yet to reach us -, the main trends are clearly apparent. First, for the fourth year in a row, the filings total increased (+2.8%), reaching yet another peak (265 000). However, […]

Raising IP awareness among EU policy-makers


Last week, in Brussels, the EPO and OHIM held a joint seminar on the essentials of IP for EU officials. I was delighted to see that this event attracted some 130 participants, from the EU institutions, national governments and IP offices, indicating the strong awareness within the European policy-making community of the crucial role of […]

Tribute to our brilliant inventors


The European Inventor Award (EIA) ceremony held in Amsterdam on 28 May was a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to some of our most creative and inspiring inventors. Many representatives of the worlds of politics, industry, academia and industrial property took part in this event, including Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Michel […]