European Patent Office

Honouring creative and inventive minds


This week, in Budapest, our sixth successive annual European Inventor Award will be presented in recognition of 15 outstanding inventions nominated in five categories (“Industry”, “SMEs”, “Research”, “Non-European countries” and “Lifetime achievement”) and in honour of the individuals and teams behind them. On Thursday, it will be my very great pleasure to congratulate the five […]

Patents and standards can work together


At first sight, patents and standards may seem contradictory. Certainly, when defining a standard to be used by all the players in a particular market, it is indeed vital to know what is patented and what is not. However, sometimes different companies file large numbers of patents around the same technology. This may call for […]

Another step towards an enhanced European IP environment


Yesterday, I had the pleasure to be in Alicante to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). Some may question whether such an agreement between the EPO and OHIM is really needed; they may feel that the principles and procedures governing patents are too different […]

Let’s celebrate IP… but not as an end in itself


Nearly ten years ago to the day, on 26 April 2001, the first World Intellectual Property Day was held. Its aim was “to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe”. And increasingly, it is true, a country’s international competitiveness seems to depend on its […]

New EPO website for our users


The public launch of a new homepage is always an exciting event. I may have experienced it once or twice before in my career (three years ago at the French IP office, for example) but I have to say that this particular relaunch is really something rather special. The EPO is a global IP player. That makes […]