19 April 2012
The EPO and Logica have announced an important project that will contribute to significantly reducing costs and improving timeliness for the patenting process in Europe. Logica and the EPO are set to introduce one of the most advanced, fully digital patent offices in the world, enabling applicants and inventors to register their patents and all concerned in processing them in a more efficient and cost effective way.
Under the agreement Logica will help the EPO establish a comprehensive, secure and innovative case management system, that will digitally process patent applications at all stages of the patent grant process including:
EPO President Benoît Battistelli said: "The European Patent Office has a vital role to play in driving the knowledge economy by enabling organisations to benefit quickly and profitably from investment in research and development. The objective of the agreement with Logica is to modernise our IT infrastructure in a way that not only benefits the EPO through a more streamlined grant process, but will also allow companies, researchers and inventors to realise important efficiency gains when using the patent system."
Andy Green, Chief Executive Officer of Logica, said: "Innovation is vital to the wider European economy and individual businesses' ability to compete in the global marketplace. Europe faces growing competition from the BRIC countries, and established powerhouses like the USA. Our partnership with the EPO is an example of how we are helping to break down the barriers to creativity and to create a more effective innovation ecosystem."
The knowledge-based patent management system will help both those filing a patent application and those overseeing it, through every stage of the process. According to EPO estimates, the new system will reduce the number of applicant-Office interactions significantly which could result in annual savings of tens of millions of euros for the user community.
The new case management system will replace almost all of the EPO automated processes that currently exist. It will support the filing of 250,000 patent applications the EPO receives annually, plus the electronic handling of some 2.5 million transactions being processed.
Under the current plan, some users will begin using the new process for filing as early as April 2013. The project will then be rolled out gradually until 2015. National patent offices in Europe will also benefit from this project, through plans to offer them the new online filing tool under the EPO's co-operation policy with its 38 member states.