The EPO

Listening to the Staff


What a busy few weeks these have been. As well as a string of management meetings and other duties expected of a new President, I’ve had many enjoyable and productive meetings with staff members from across the EPO, on an individual basis. I felt it important to meet staff one-on-one because their knowledge and understanding […]

Message from the new President


Just a few days ago I embarked upon one of the biggest journeys of my professional career. On 1 July, I started my role as President of this organisation. It is an immense honour to follow in the footsteps of some of the great characters who have shaped IP in Europe and beyond. I am […]

A Farewell Message


After eight years as President, it is finally time for me to say goodbye. Since the blog started in 2011, I’ve published over 200 posts offering my personal insight into the workings of the Office and the European and global patent system.  Every few weeks I shared my thoughts with thousands of readers on current […]

Linked data, secure data


In today’s world there is something of a dichotomy emerging in the field of data. We want access to more information, more easily. Yet at the same time, we want to know that personal data held by an organisation is secure. Both of these considerations are high on the EPO’s agenda at the moment with […]

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 […]

Improving lives through innovation and patents


Today the world is celebrating the benefits that are brought by intellectual property. Seventeen years on from its launch by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), this year’s theme for World Intellectual Property Day is ‘Innovation – Improving Lives’. Nowhere have we seen that link more explicitly than at the EPO, where patents have protected […]

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 BoA: New President, new era


This week the EPO welcomed Carl Josefsson as the new President of the Boards of Appeal. It is a great opportunity for a judiciary that has been reformed to enhance its efficiency and to further assure users of its independence. This new era opens under the leadership of an experienced patent judge. Indeed, previous to […]

The rights and obligations of an international organisation


Last Friday the Supreme Court of the Netherlands conclusively endorsed the EPO’s immunity and the validity of its legal framework. It follows a case originally brought before the national courts of the Netherlands by one of the EPO`s trade unions, which asserted that it had no means to legally challenge recent reforms within the Office. […]

2017: Consolidating gains, further improvements


Yesterday, I was able to discuss the EPO’s priorities for the coming year at a special event with our staff. It was an opportunity to review the developments of the last twelve months in a meeting in Munich, attended by over 350 staff members and viewed online by employees throughout the organisation. Almost one year […]