Communiqués

26th meeting of the Select Committee of EU Member States participating in the enhanced co-operation on Unitary Patent Protection (Munich, 23 March 2022)

170th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (Munich, 22 March 2022)

169th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (Munich, 14 and 15 December 2021)

24th and 25th meetings of the Select Committee of EU Member States participating in the enhanced cooperation on Unitary Patent Protection (Munich, 14th October 2021 and 16 December 2021)

Munich, 11 April 2022

26th meeting of the Select Committee of EU Member States participating in the enhanced co-operation on Unitary Patent Protection (Munich, 23 March 2022)

The Select Committee of the European Patent Organisation held its 26th meeting in Munich as an e-meeting on 23 March 2022 under its Chairperson Mr Jérôme DEBRULLE (BE).

At the beginning of the meeting, the Committee observed a minute of silence as a sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

The Committee noted the report by the Chair of the UPC Administrative Committee, Mr Alexander RAMSAY, as well as an update on the entry into force of the Unitary Patent (UP) from the head of the delegation from France, which holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first half of 2022. Both reports confirm that taking into account the entry into force on the 19th of January 2022 of the Protocol on provisional application of the UPC Agreement and the state of play of the implementation of the UPC Agreement, it can reasonably be expected that the Unitary Patent Protection reform will enter into application in the course of the second semester 2022.

In this context, the Select Committee dealt with several topics which still need to be addressed before the entry into application of the Unitary Patent Protection.   

The Committee approved the amendments to the Rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection regarding the Register for unitary patent protection in relation with the identification of the place of business - Rule 16 UPR.

The Committee then noted the financial simulations for the Unitary Patent Package (UPP), giving an update on the key underlying statistics and penetration rates. Meeting in closed session, the Committee also noted the UPP financial simulations with regard to the updated results per participating Member State.

The Committee was subsequently presented with the updated results of the questionnaire on national measures to accompany UP implementation. It welcomed the Office's intention to make this information publicly available online, giving users easy access to national legislation accompanying the implementation of the UP.

It noted a report by the Office on top-up search with regard to earlier national rights in view of the UP, along with a report on the recent communication workshop and planned delivery of information material on the UPP.

Finally, the Committee noted that its next meeting would take place in June 2022 on the margins of the Council's 171st meeting.

Select Committee Secretariat


Munich, 7 April 2022

170th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (Munich, 22 March 2022)

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 170th meeting as an e-meeting on 22 March 2022, under its Chairperson Josef KRATOCHVÍL (CZ).

At the beginning of the meeting, the Council observed a minute of silence for Ukraine and the victims of the tragic events unfolding in the country.

The Council noted the Chairperson's activity report and heard reports from the respective Chairpersons of the Select Committee, the Committee on Patent Law, and the Boards of Appeal Committee (BOAC) on the meetings held since the last Council session in December.

The President of the European Patent Office, António CAMPINOS, provided the Council with an extensive report on the Office's activities in 2022 under each of the five main goals of the Strategic Plan 2023. The Council praised the Office's achievements and joined the President and the Chairperson in expressing their deep appreciation to all staff for the solid progress made in 2022.

The Council also noted the management report of the President of the Boards of Appeal for 2021, before moving on to other important agenda items, including:

  • New ways of working: the Council gave a unanimous favourable opinion on the proposed post-pandemic hybrid working scheme and praised the broad consultation conducted by the Office with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Orientation paper on professional mobility: the Council welcomed the Office's redesigning of the EPO professional mobility landscape and exchanged views in particular on programmes for secondment, flexible language policy, and various aspects of unpaid leave.
  • Transforming Vienna building into a green hub: the Council unanimously approved the launch of the complete renovation of the EPO's building in Vienna.
  • Relocation of the Boards of Appeal: the Council took note of the information provided by the Office on the legal and technical aspects of the proposed relocation of the Boards of Appeal from its current premises in Haar to the "Bauteil 7" of the Pschorrhöfe.
  • Convergence of practice: the Council unanimously approved two recommendations for a common practice as regards the accordance of a date of priority, and the re-establishment of rights respectively.

Furthermore, the Council welcomed the latest developments related to the Unitary Patent presented by the delegation from France, which holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first half of 2022.   

The Council also took a number of decisions on individual appointments:

  • Re-election of Mr Peter SLATER (UK) as deputy chairperson of the Technical and Operational Support Committee for a further three-year mandate
  • Appointment of Mr Javier VERA (ES) as member of the BOAC under Article 2(1)(a) of CA/D 7/16 for a three-year mandate
  • Appointment of Ms Margaret FROST (UK) as alternate external member of the Supervisory Board of the RFPSS for a three-year mandate
  • Appointment of Ms Leonor TRINDADE (PT) and Mr Per FOSS (NO) as members of the Appeals Committee to deal with appeals against individual decisions taken by the Administrative Council for a two-year mandate
  • Appointments and re-appointments of members of the BoA, based on proposals by the President of the Boards of Appeal and on his consultation or recommendations on proposals from the Chairperson of the Council.

Council Secretariat


Munich, 15 February 2022

169th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (Munich, 14 and 15 December 2021)

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 169th meeting as an e-meeting on 14 and 15 December 2021, under its Chairperson Josef KRATOCHVÍL (CZ).

As well as noting its Chairperson's activity report, the Council also heard reports from the respective Chairpersons of the Select Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Committee on Patent Law, the Technical and Operational Support Committee and the Supervisory Board of the RFPSS, covering the outcome of productive meetings in the autumn.

The President of the European Patent Office, António CAMPINOS, together with his management team, provided the Council with an extensive report on the Office's achievements in 2021 under each of the five main goals of the Strategic Plan 2023. The Council congratulated the President, as well as the Office's management and staff, on the EPO's excellent performance under circumstances that remained highly challenging. The Council also gave a unanimous favourable opinion on the Annual Work Plan for 2022. It welcomed the Office's prudent, long-term approach in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and particularly the strong focus on business continuity and moving progressively towards a "New Normal" situation.

The Council considered other important agenda items, including:

  • The Code of Conduct for Members of the Boards of Appeal and of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, which was unanimously approved.
  • New ways of working: the Office informed the Council of a new scheme designed to offer staff suitable flexibility, while ensuring business continuity and reinforcing the attractiveness of the Office as a modern employer. This scheme would begin as a pilot - starting when the emergency situation ends - and would mark the Office's transition to a hybrid work environment. The Council considered the various aspects and implications of this approach. Its discussions will continue at the Council's meeting in March 2022.
  • Regulations on strike and unauthorised absence: the Council unanimously approved the proposed amendments to the Service Regulation as a result of the respective ILOAT judgements rendered in July 2021.
  • Orientation on recruitment: In view of the uncertain economic and workload outlook, the Office presented a cautious approach to recruitment in 2022. Internal job mobility will continue to play a key role, while the recruitment of 77 new examiners is planned and underway. The Council gave a unanimous favourable opinion on the approach.

The Council also welcomed the latest developments related to the Unitary Patent presented by the Slovenian and the Austrian delegations. They pave the way for the start of the period of provisional application of the UPCA and mean that the UPC/UPP package could potentially become operational by the second half of 2022. More information on this major achievement is published in the Communiqué of the Select Committee, whose meeting took place one day after the Council. 

Turning to budgetary and financial matters, the Council unanimously approved the Organisation's EUR 2.34 bn budget for 2022 and the biennial inflation adjustment of the fees to be applied as of 1 April 2022.

The Council also took a number of decisions on individual appointments:

  • Re-election of Ms Borghildur ERLINGSDÓTTIR (IS) as Deputy Chairperson of the Administrative Council for a further three-year mandate;
  • Re-appointment of Ms Catherine MARGELLOU (GR) as member of the BOAC under Article 2(1)(a) of CA/D 7/16 for a further three-year mandate;
  • Appointment of Ms Hélène DUBOIS (FR) as external member of the Supervisory Board of the RFPSS for a three-year mandate;
  • And appointment of a chairperson in the Boards of Appeal (BoA), based on a proposal by the President of the BoA.

Council Secretariat


Munich, 19 January 2022

24th and 25th meetings of the Select Committee of EU Member States participating in the enhanced cooperation on Unitary Patent Protection (Munich, 14th October 2021 and 16 December 2021)

After swift advances with the ratification of the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement, the Select Committee of the European Patent Organisation resumed work at its October and December 2021 meetings, both in e-format. The Committee re-elected Jérôme Debrulle (BE) as Chairperson and Simona Marzetti (IT) as Deputy Chairperson, each for a renewable three-year term effective as of 27 March 2022. The Committee also decided to admit the United Kingdom as an observer.

Based on a proposal by its Chairperson, the Committee agreed on its work programme for 2022. The programme spans five areas: adjustments to the current legislative framework to provide appropriate adaptations to the rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection (UPP), monitoring of accompanying measures at a national level, technical co-operation, final adjustments to the existing financial framework, and communication, promotion and awareness-raising activities related to the UPP.

The Committee noted the Office's report on the state of play of preparatory work. The Committee also noted the report by the delegation from Slovenia, which held the presidency of the Council of the EU during the second half of 2021, as well as interventions by the delegation from France, which holds the presidency during the first half of 2022. Furthermore, the Austrian delegation updated the Committee on the finalisation of the parliamentary ratification of the Protocol on Provisional Application and expected ratification instrument to be deposited by mid-January 2022, which would allow the provisional application period to start.

Amendments to Rule 16 on Unitary Patent Protection in the Register for Unitary Patent Protection (Rule 16 UPR) were approved at the meeting. These amendments cover the removal of inventor data and a new entry on the residence or principal place of business at the time of filing. In a closed session, the Committee also approved an amendment to Article 2 of the Rules relating to the Distribution of Fees amongst participating Member States.

The Office presented two transitional arrangements to support users in their early uptake of the Unitary Patent. These arrangements cover early requests for unitary effect and the option to request a delay in issuing the decision to grant a European patent. Both initiatives were welcomed by the Committee.

Finally, the Office also reported on the communication and awareness-raising campaign accompanying the Unitary Patent and announced an IT implementation workshop presenting the new user interface to be held on 27 January 2022. The outcome of this workshop will be presented to the Committee at its next meeting, which is scheduled to take place on 23 March 2022.

Select Committee Secretariat 

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