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The EPO has today published a summary of achievements resulting from
the extensive modernisation reforms put in place between 2010 and 2018. The
changes have enabled the Office to be more competitive, more quality oriented,
more efficient, more financially secure and ready to face the challenges of
In 2010, after more than thirty years of existence, the EPO was facing a number
of significant challenges, such as a rising number and increasing complexity of
patent applications. There was a widely-shared understanding among the
different stakeholders that the long-term sustainability of the Office was at
stake. Based on a mandate from the EPO's member states, an intense programme
was implemented to modernise the institution.
The EPO today - a
performant and competitive patent office
One of the widest programmes of reforms experienced by a public agency has
delivered a range of benefits to the EPO's stakeholders.
Delivering High Quality
Services - The EPO developed ways to provide quicker, easier and simpler
access to comprehensive patent information. Patent applicants at the EPO now
also benefit from better services that include a timelier patent granting
process, reduced fees and patent coverage in up to 44 countries covering a
market of some 700 million consumers. User feedback has been gathered through a
multitude of channels and has confirmed increasing levels of satisfaction with
the EPO's products and services, year after year.
A more efficient and
competitive public organisation - A focus on our core business
has allowed the Office to increase its examination capacity by 10%, while the
overall EPO headcount has remained stable. Together with a reorganisation of
the patent granting process and investments in IT, this has helped the EPO
achieve its best performance to date. Production has increased by 36% and the
stock of outstanding work has been reduced by 27% during the last three years.
The number of patents granted is also up by +82%. Higher performance and better
cost control have also reduced the unit cost and put the EPO in a stronger
Modernised Working Conditions - The
Office has profoundly reviewed its social framework and working conditions,
providing more clarity, fairness and sustainability, as illustrated by a new
Career and Performance Management system that is now based on performance and
merit. The reforms also ensured that EPO staff continue to benefit from regular
salary increases and an extensive social package that compares favourably to
other international organisations and the private sector. The EPO has also
focused on providing state of the art workplaces for its staff, such as its new
building in The Hague, which is set to offer nearly 2000 work spaces in an
innovative and environmentally friendly office premises.
An Influential Global Player - In
2011, the European Patent Network was reengineered to create a stronger and
more efficient organisation. At the same time co-operation was enhanced on the
global stage and joint projects with the world's largest patent offices (EPO,
SIPO, USPTO, KIPO, and JIPO) have avoided duplication of work and facilitated
the spread of patent information. Enhanced bilateral co-operation with numerous
partners has also helped develop validation agreements and allowed the EPO to
offer patent information to its users from around the world. That means 800
million records, containing over 100 million patent documents and stored in
over 120 specialised databases.
Social Responsibility and
Transparency - As a responsible public institution, the EPO has increased
the transparency of its activities on key subjects such as social conditions
and quality. The annual results and major developments at the EPO are given at
an annual press conference and the Office has also invested increasing amounts
in activities that raise awareness on the importance of patents for the
economy, such as the European Inventor Award and numerous extensive studies.
to an ambitious series of reforms, the EPO of today is a vastly different organisation
to that which existed in 2010", says EPO President Benoît Battistelli.
"This striking story of successful modernisation has enabled the Office to
provide higher quality, more timely and competitive services. We are now a more
sustainable organisation, better placed to face any future challenges in the
international patent system. I would like to take this opportunity to warmly
thank all staff and managers of the Office for these achievements "
EPO media contacts
Director External Communication
EPO press desk
Tel: +49 (0)89 2399 1820
Mobile: +49 163 8399527