The Select Committee held its 9th meeting in The Hague on 24 June 2014.
The Committee has adopted in principle the Draft Rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection, with the exception of some technical aspects that require further discussion and one rule relating to financial aspects that will be discussed after the summer holiday together with other financial issues.. These draft Rules concern the procedures that will be applied by the EPO in carrying out the administrative tasks relating to the European patent with unitary effect.
Work on the level of renewal fees which will have to be fixed by the participating Member States in the Select Committee continued on the basis of two further presentations given by the Office on simulations of fee scenarios and their financial implications for the Office. This work will continue in October.
Select Committee Secretariat
The Administrative Council held its 140th meeting in The Hague on 25 and 26 June 2014
with Jesper KONGSTAD, Director General of the Danish Patent Office in the chair.
The Council elected Josef KRATOCHVÍL (CZ) as Chairman of the Technical and Operational Support Committee (TOSC) with effect from 26 October 2014 and Bucura IONESCU (RO) as deputy chairman of the TOSC with effect from 1 July 2014 as well as Patricia GARCIA-ESCUDERO (ES) and
Marco DINIS (PT) as members of the Supervisory Board of the Academy with effect from 26 June 2014.
In 2011 the Council adopted a quality/efficiency strategy to be implemented by means of five Roadmaps in the areas of IT, Co-operation, Human Resources, Buildings, and Quality.
At its meeting this week the Council discussed a set of updated Roadmap documents which described progress made so far and made specific proposals for further action in each area.
The Council fully endorsed the steps taken and the progress achieved so far and unanimously approved the proposals for further action in all five of the updated Roadmaps.
The Council further expressed support for the policies pursued in each area by the President of the Office, Benoît BATTISTELLI and decided to extend his mandate by three years, up to 30 June 2018, in order to bring the Roadmaps to fuller fruition.
In further developments, the Council noted the second Social Report on the social conditions prevailing at the European Patent Office, making the report available to the public. The Council also approved a revised salary adjustment procedure for permanent staff of the EPO.The method is based on established principles of parallel development with national salary scales and conservation of purchasing parity. The new method ensures greater oversight by the Council, with a closer link to macroeconomic conditions in the Contracting States. For the first time, full details on the working of the salary adjustment method will be made available to the public.
Finally, the Council approved the accounts for 2013, which showed an overall Budget surplus of
€ 317m, an all-time high and unanimously approved general orientations for the budget of 2015.
The Select Committee of the Administrative Council held its 8th meeting in Munich on 26-27 May 2014.
Preparatory work on the level of renewal fees, which had started at the 5th meeting held on 30 October 2013, continued on the basis of simulations of fee scenarios and their financial implications. On this subject, the Office gave several presentations.
committee held a first exchange of views on those presentations, with a view to
continuing discussions at the 9th meeting, to be held on the 24th of June.
Select Committee Secretariat
The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 139th meeting yesterday and today in Munich, with Jesper Kongstad, Director General of the Danish Patent Office holding the chair.
After the Chairman's report on the last meeting of the Board of the Administrative Council, which assists the Chairman in preparing the Council's work, the President of the European Patent Office presented his activities report, setting out a comprehensive account of the Office's activities in 2013. The Council was pleased to hear that positive trends registered in recent years had been continuing in 2013. Outstanding results have been achieved last year in all areas. This included the implementation of measures outlined in the Human Resources Roadmap presented by the President and approved by the Council in 2011. The Council encouraged the President to maintain efforts to reforming the EPO social policy. This matter was again addressed at a later stage during the meeting, when the Council discussed and unanimously approved a proposal from the President, aiming at reforming the arrangements for staff representation at the EPO.
The Council then proceeded with a series of appointments. Sean Dennehey (UK) was re-elected chairman of the Committee on Patent Law for a three-year term, starting on 30 March 2014. Several members and chairs of the Boards of Appeal were also appointed or re-appointed.
Under the heading Legal and International Affairs, the Council heard the status report on latest developments concerning the Unitary patent, given by the Head of the Hellenic delegation, representing the country holding the EU presidency for the first half of 2014, and the report of the chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court. The chairman of the Select Committee (set up by the 25 EPC contracting states participating in the enhanced co-operation on unitary patent protection to supervise the EPO's activities related to the tasks entrusted to it in the context of unitary protection) reported then on the committee's 7th meeting, held the day before the Council meeting (see Communiqué on the 7th meeting of the Select Committee).
Finally, the Council authorized the President to sign on behalf of the Organisation a new agreement with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. This new agreement, amending the Agreement of 19 October 1977 between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Patent Organisation on the setting up of the Berlin sub-office of the European Patent Office, specifies the conditions under which the renovation of the Berlin sub-office will be performed and the premises made available to the European Patent Office after renovation.
The Select Committee of the Administrative Council held its seventh meeting in Munich on 26 March 2014. For the first time, observers from EPC Contracting States attended.
The Committee completed its second reading of the Draft Rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection. These draft Rules concern the procedures that will be applied by the EPO in carrying out the administrative tasks relating to the European patent with unitary effect.
The Committee adopted the rules relating to the compensation scheme for costs for translations of applications filed in an EU official language which is not one of the official languages of the EPO, the reimbursement of which is available to patent holders obtaining a European patent with unitary effect. However, the financial aspects of the compensation scheme, including the amount to be compensated, will be discussed at a later stage.
The Committee exchanged views on possible measures at Member States' level which could accompany the Unitary Patent Protection.
Lastly, the Committee also adopted its work programme for 2014.
Select Committee Secretariat
The Select Committee of the Administrative Council held its sixth meeting in Munich on 10 and 11 December 2013.
The committee finished its first reading of the Draft Rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection, noted comments on the rules supplied by delegations and users and began a second reading. These draft Rules relate mainly to the procedures that will be administrated by the EPO in carrying out the tasks that the Member States will entrust to the EPO in accordance with article 9.1 of the EU Regulation N° 1257/2012.
It discussed the future operation of the compensation scheme for costs for translations filed in an EU official language which is not one of the official languages of the EPO and reached consensus on a number of issues relating to the future operation of this compensation scheme.
The committee exchanged views on issues and possible measures at Member States level which could accompany the Unitary Patent Protection.
It also discussed the EPO's document of draft principles for the budgeting and accounting of the revenues from and the expenditure of administering the Unitary Patent Protection.
Finally, it decided to admit as observers the following EPC contracting states: Switzerland, Turkey, Spain, Albania, San Marino, Italy, Norway, Croatia, Monaco and Serbia. Other contracting states would be admitted upon request.
Select Committee Secretariat
The Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, Jesper Kongstad (Director General of the Danish Patent Office) closed the Council 138th meeting today, after two days of extensive debate.
The Chairman reported as usual on discussions on the last meeting of the Board of the Administrative Council (set up in application of article 28 EPC, the Board assists the Chairman in preparing the Administrative Council's work).
The President of the European Patent Office, Benoît Battistelli, reported on the most recent developments at the Office. The Council was pleased to hear that positive trends registered in previous periods concerning output, productivity and finances were continuing. This gave rise to reasonable optimism for the future among delegations, despite all challenges ahead. The biggest challenge is perhaps reform and modernization in the social policy area. The Council reiterated its full support to the measures outlined in the Human Resources Roadmap presented in 2011 by the President, and called on the social partners to show a sense of responsibility, in order to achieve a real and fruitful social dialogue.
The Council then proceeded with a series of appointments. Habip Asan, President of the Turkish Patent Institute, was elected member of the Board of the Administrative Council for a three-year term. Guus Broesterhuizen (NL) and Jørgen Smith (NO) were reappointed members of the Appeals Committee for the year 2014, together with Darina Kyliánová (SK) as alternate member. Four new members and a new chairman of the Boards of Appeal were also appointed.
The Council appointed Frédéric Angermann, Senior Auditor at the French Court of Auditors, as member of the Board of Auditors, with effect from 1 January 2014. Mr Angermann will succeed Michel Camoin, to whom the Council paid tribute.
Under the heading Legal and International Affairs, the Council heard the status report on latest developments concerning the Unitary patent, given by the Head of the Lithuanian delegation, representing the country holding the EU presidency for the second half of 2013. The chairman of the Select Committee (set up by the 25 EPC contracting states participating in the enhanced co-operation on unitary patent protection to supervise the EPO's activities related to the tasks entrusted to it in the context of unitary protection) reported then on the committee's 5th and 6th meetings (see Communiqué on the 6th meeting of the Select Committee, to be published shortly on this website). The Council thereby noted that a number of EPC contracting states not taking part in the enhanced co-operation had been granted observer status on the Select Committee. Other EPC contracting states not taking part in the enhanced co-operation will henceforth also be automatically granted observer status upon request.
The Council also adopted a set of amendments to the Implementing Regulations to the EPC. The first amendment extends the reimbursement possibilities of the appeal fee under rule 103 EPC. The second amendment limits the scope of application of the fee reduction under rule 6 EPC and its applicability to specifically defined categories of applicants, but at the same time increases the rate of reduction. (Corresponding decisions - CA/D 16/13 and CA/D 19/13 - will be published shortly on this website.)
Last item on the Council agenda - but not the least - was the Budget for 2014. The authorisation budget, amounting to € 2 078 895 000, was unanimously adopted. The staff complement will remain stable at 7 075. The adjustment of EPO salaries (with effect from 1 July 2013), as well as the biennal adjustment of fees and prices (with effect from 1 April 2014) are included in the budget.