28 March 2014
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.