Workshops and conferences

Past workshops

The economic impact of introducing a grace period in Europe

Munich, 26 November 2014

In 2014, the EPO Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB) commissioned a study to provide evidence-based analysis of the impact of the potential introduction of a grace period in Europe. A workshop was organised to present and discuss the study findings to over 60 international IP experts and practitioners.

Patent aggregation and its impact on competition and innovation policy

Munich, 25 November 2014

The ESAB organised a workshop to discuss patent aggregation and its impact on competition and innovation policy with over 40 experts and patent aggregators/intermediaries from Europe, the USA and Asia. The discussion focused on the interplay between patent and competition policy as well as on the different types of aggregators and their activities in Europe.

Unitary patent and Unified Patent Court

Munich, 3 and 4 December 2013

The ESAB commissioned an independent study to identify, quantify and understand the individual drivers behind the behaviour for applying for unitary patents and the use of the Unified Patent Court. It provided the ESAB with an analysis of the intended behaviour of companies and of particular industries under the newly implemented patent system. The preliminary findings of the study were presented at the workshop.

Patent thickets

Leuven, 26 September 2012

International patent experts met at the third workshop to improve understanding of patent thickets and to look at the phenomenon from the perspective of different industries. The expert group explored patent thickets as part of the broader discussion on the management of innovation and technological complexity. Possible solutions identified were regulatory measures to improve patent quality, speeding up examination procedures and pricing aspects. Market-based solutions were also discussed.

Pricing and fees

Munich, 8 May 2012

Participants discussed whether reduced fees or subsidies would have a positive effect on innovation support, bearing in mind that patent office fees were already considered relatively low compared with other costs, such as attorneys' fees, translations and national validations.

Patent quality

Munich, 7 May 2012

Some 40 economists, lawyers, patent practitioners, licensing experts and university researchers from Europe, the USA and Asia met to discuss what 'patent quality' means to different stakeholders. A number of proposals on topics such as prior art search, international harmonisation and collaboration were put forward and discussed.

Economic and Scientific Advisory Board from 2012-2015

In 2012, the President of the European Patent Office set up the Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB) to address important economic and social issues relating to the patent system and to support the EPO with evidence-based policymaking. The EPO Chief Economist held the position of executive secretary of the board. Its members were renowned economists, social scientists, IP lawyers and practitioners. They were appointed from 2012-2015, the three-year period for which the board was fully operational. During that time it addressed the topics listed above. The format of its activities included stakeholder workshops with IP experts and practitioners, which were supplemented by background and workshop reports, final recommendations and statements.

ESAB statements 

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