The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 159th meeting in Munich on 27 and 28 March 2019 under the chairmanship of Josef KRATOCHVIL (CZ).
After noting the activities report of its Chairman, the Council noted and commented very positively on the activities report given by the President of the European Patent Office, António CAMPINOS. The President reported on developments of the Strategic Plan and thanked the Member States for their contributions. The new Vice-President DG1 presented an overview of the main operational activities of the Office in 2018. The President also reported on progress with Social Dialogue and thanked the Council for the very good words to all staff, which he would transmit.
The President of the Boards of Appeal, Carl JOSEFSSON informed the Council in the context of his annual management report about the successful implementation of the structural reform of the Boards of Appeal. The Council also commented very positively on the report and staff performance.
The Council further noted oral reports from the chairpersons of the Committee on Patent Law, the Boards of Appeal Committee and the Select Committee. The Council also heard the report of the Romanian delegation on Unitary Patent and related developments, Romania being the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU for the first half of 2019.
On Legal and International Affairs, many delegations expressed their concern with regard to the legal uncertainty caused by decision T 1063/18 of a technical board of appeal on plant patentability. The need for legal certainty in the interests of the users of the European patent system and the general public was strongly underlined in the debate. The Council addressed the recent legal developments and the different potential options for the way forward. In particular, it broadly supported a referral to be submitted to the Enlarged Board of Appeal, as announced by the President.
The Council took a number of decisions on individual positions, hence appointing:
The Council then unanimously decided on a series of re-appointments and appointments in the Boards of Appeal as well as promotion and non-promotions;
Lastly, turning to building matters, the Council unanimously approved an extension in space of the lease agreement for building 8inOne in the location of the Boards of Appeal in Haar.