SACEPO is consulted on all important issues affecting the development of the European patent system, from broad European and international issues such as:

  • EPC revision,
  • possible introduction of a grace period into European patent law,
  • the Community patent, and
  • PCT reform,

to more day to day issues such as:

  • changes to the EPC implementing regulations,
  • EPO fee policy, and
  • the practical arrangements for holding oral proceedings.

Regular consultation of SACEPO ensures that proposed changes in European patent law and practice are seen from the perspective of the user and debated in a thorough and balanced way prior to implementation. Its functions are of purely advisory nature.

In addition to the ordinary meetings of SACEPO a special sub-committee (SACEPO/PDI) consisting of experts from industry, libraries, patent documentation and patent attorneys is devoted to patent documentation and meets once per year in the EPO's sub-office in Vienna.

Furthermore, two special SACEPO Working Parties on Guidelines (SACEPO/WPG) and on Rules (SACEPO/WPR) consisting of members nominated by epi and BUSINESSEUROPE are consulted on proposed changes to the Guidelines for Examination in the EPO and the Implementing Regulations respectively.

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