SACEPO is the EPO's main advisory body and is consulted on all major issues relating to the development of the European patent system.
The Standing Advisory Committee before the European Patent Office (SACEPO) was formed in 1978 on the initiative of the first President of the EPO, Bob van Benthem, to involve user representatives in the development of the European patent system. The regular engagement of external stakeholders in the framework of the SACEPO is a valued part of the EPO’s commitment to transparency. The SACEPO enables the EPO to gather feedback from users to better respond to their needs and remain agile in managing the changing demands and conditions of a dynamic and global patent system.
Membership is comprised of representatives from leading industrial property associations and industry federations from all over the world, as well as representatives of European and international patent attorney associations. In addition, the President of the EPO also appoints recognised experts in the field of IP law as ad personam members of the SACEPO. Membership has expanded significantly in recent years, and the EPO now welcomes a group of 180 engaged, active and vocal user representatives from all over the world, reflecting the EPO’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. The members of the SACEPO are nominated for a three-year term of office. The current term of office runs from 2021 to 2023.