Quality indicators

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Customer satisfaction

The EPO monitors customer satisfaction by running regular quantitative surveys with independant research institutes. Here below, the top results of these EPO surveys1.

Customer satisfaction with search and examination services1 2016 2017 2018
% satisfied or very satisfied 79% 80%
81%
% average
17%
16%
16%
% not satisfied
4%
4%
3%
Customer satisfaction with formalities services 1 2016 2017 2018
% satisfied or very satisfied 84% 89% 87%
% average
13%
8%
7%
% not satisfied
3%
3%
6%
  • 1.Every year, the EPO carries out customer satisfaction surveys on its search, examination and formalities services. More background information on these surveys:

Timeliness of patent grant procedure

Timeliness 20162017
2018
Search timeliness (Early Certainty from Search)2 All searches
(in months)
5.1 4.8 4.4
Examination timeliness (Early Certainty from Examination)3 European examination
(in months)
23.3 22.1
22.3
Duration of opposition procedure4 All oppositions
(in months)
24.8
22.4
18.6
% of international searches on-time5 94.9%
96.5%
96.4%
Time to accelerated examination action6 3.1 3.1 2.8
  • 2. Median value for all searches calculated from date of receipt at the EPO to dispatch of search report.
  • 3. Median value calculated from valid examination request to dispatch of examiner's intention to grant.
  • 4. Median value calculated from expiry of opposition filing period to date of opposition decision.
  • 5.Percentage of PCT Chapter 1 international searches completed in time for publication along with the application (A1 publication).
  • 6. Median time in months calculated from the examination procedure start date to examiner's first communication or decision to grant.

Timeliness of customer services

The EPO has set up Customer Services helpdesk and Customer Relationship Management System to handle users' queries.



2016
2017 2018
Timeliness of response to telephone enquiries Calls to Customer services answered
within 20 seconds
98%
97%
92%
Calls to EPO switchboards answered
within 20 seconds
99%
99%
99%
Resolution of customer services enquiries7
89%
91%
90%

7. Within 2 working days calculated in elapsed working hours (2 days = 16hrs).

Complaints 8



2016
2017 2018
Complaints registered 449
334
384
% breakdown by issue
  Examiner products and services 37%
46%
51%
  Formalities products and services 25%
15%
21%
  Other products and services 38%
39%
28%
% registered online 56%
56%
43%
% complaints replied to within 20 business days8 95%
83%
88%

8. More information on the EPO's complaints procedure.

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