Remembering Norman Wallace

14 April 2011

Norman Wallace (Photo: Paul Luckett)

The EPO is sad to announce the death of former Vice-President Norman Wallace, who passed away on 29 March.

As Vice-President of the EPO from 1977 to 1990, Mr Wallace, from the United Kingdom, was in charge of setting up and managing the EPO's Directorate-General for Substantive Examination and Opposition, as DG2 was then called.

His work was seminal for the development of the Guidelines for examination, a cornerstone of quality in European patents, which enjoys world-wide recognition in the world of IP and beyond.

Norman Wallace was respected as much for his professional expertise as for his personal warmth, inspiring confidence in his examination staff and expertly mastering the challenges faced by a young EPO.

"A passionate examiner, Norman Wallace was instrumental in establishing the Office's substantive examination practice and his influence is still seen in the way the EPO examines patents today," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli.

Mr Wallace began his career at the UK patent office in 1947, where he later became superintending examiner: He was heavily involved in the working parties that prepared the opening of the EPO before being appointed Vice-President for Substantive Examination/Opposition.

A funeral service will be held at Enfield Crematorium tomorrow, 15 April.

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