In March 2004, Professor Alain Pompidou decided to prepare for his imminent role as President of the EPO by sponsoring the EPO Scenarios for the Future project. The project was meant to consider what the patent system might look like in 20 years time, in order to gain greater clarity about the threats and opportunities the future might present.
The purpose of scenarios is to examine possible uncertainties that might arise in a complex and turbulent environment. By deploying this methodology, a wider view can be taken and more relevant questions can be asked.
This approach encourages a holistic examination of the system and exposes the complex interactions that might impact it. By thinking the unthinkable, and questioning structures that are ordinarily taken as a given, it is possible to better anticipate and adapt to future changes.