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EPO global benchmark for quality, independent survey says

3 June 2015

The EPO has once again been rated number one for patent quality among the world's largest patent offices, according to a recent survey of patent professionals by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine.

The latest IAM benchmarking survey is based on responses received earlier this year from more than 650 corporate IP managers, non-practising entity (NPE) executives, and private practice lawyers and attorneys worldwide.

When asked about their perceptions of the quality of the patents granted by each of the five largest IP offices in the world, 60% of corporate respondents rated EPO grants as either "excellent" or "very good", which goes up to 81% with the "good" category included. Among private practice respondents, 62% rated EPO quality as either excellent or very good, rising to 87% with the good category included. For NPE executives, the figures were 56% with excellent or very good, and 74% with good included (see survey).

In terms of the level of service provided by the IP5 offices, the EPO also ranked first in the survey, with all categories of respondents rating it number one. In addition, even though the EPO already had very high quality ratings in the previous survey, 14% of corporate and private practice respondents, and 19% of NPEs felt that the quality of the EPO's services had improved over the last year.

"This survey of patent quality confirms that the EPO continues to be a benchmark of patent quality among the large patent offices," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "Only high-quality patents provide the necessary legal certainty that is so important for innovative companies seeking protection for their inventions in a highly competitive and globalised market. The EPO will continue to invest in its quality and efficiency policy to safeguard and even further improve our level of patent quality. Training our staff, improving IT systems, and streamlining structures and procedures are essential in this respect."

The EPO has received top marks for patent quality in all of the most recent editions of the IAM survey (2012, 2011 and 2010). The other offices included in the survey are the Japan Patent Office (JPO),  the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO), and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

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