The Standing Advisory Committe before the European Patent Office (SACEPO) was formed in 1978 on the initiative of the first President of the EPO, J. B. van Benthem in order to give "interested circles" a say in the development of the European patent system.
Membership is comprised of representatives from industry (nominated by BUSINESSEUROPE) and the patent profession (nominated by epi) as well as some recognised experts in the field of industrial property law appointed ad personam by the President of the EPO. SACEPO Members are nominated for a three year term of office.
The inaugural meeting was held in January 1979. Since then regular meetings are held once per year in Munich. However, extraordinary meetings and written consultations are also organised whenever an issue of particular importance arises.
The ordinary SACEPO meeting is usually held every year in June.