The European Patent Office has formulated a new vision for the next five years. A new EPO strategy was adopted by the office’s 38 member states yesterday during the latest meeting of the Administrative Council. The strategy of President António Campinos has five goals: Empowering staff, modernising IT, improving quality, enhancing co-operation and securing sustainability.
Twelve months after taking over the office of EPO President from his controversial predecessor Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos has presented his strategic plan to the Administrative Council. The controlling body of the Patent Office, in which the 38 member states of the European Patent Convention are represented, unanimously adopted Campinos’ strategy, according to an EPO press release.
This was preceded by a public consultation in which the users of the patent office, employees and the national patent offices gave their opinions on the current state of the EPO and suggestions for its future strategy. Such public surveys are common for larger projects of the office.
The strategic plan was eagerly anticipated by the European patent community. After the end of the Battistelli era, many wondered whether Campinos would continue the line of his predecessor. Above all, the strong focus on efficiency and increased productivity under Battistelli was controversial. Stakeholders complained that the desire for high productivity has led to problems in patent examinations, and thus to poorer quality.
In the summer 2018 the four law firms Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald, and Vossius & Partner adressed this concern in an open letter to Battistelli and his then designated successor Campinos. They criticised the patent examiners for having too little time for the individual applications, and stated that EPO fees are too high in international comparison.
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