Under Goal 2 of the Strategic Plan 2023 the EPO is working towards a digital transformation that will deliver new online tools to better address user needs. Key initiative 3 (Develop new online user engagement) includes the introduction of a new user area on our website that will enable direct, around-the-clock interactions in a consistent, reliable and secure manner.
The services in this new user area will include enhanced online notification in all EPO proceedings, Online Filing 2.0 (in its future form) and improved patent application portfolio management. We are aiming to improve the exchange of digital information, simplify procedures and enable increasing collaboration with examiners on files.
We will be developing these services progressively between now and 2023. To help us do so, we want to establish stable focus groups to accompany us on each development cycle, starting in the coming months.
We will consult the groups as we design the services. As a focus group member, you will help validate new releases before they go live and take part in usability testing. You will do so mainly through interviews and online group working sessions.
A typical development cycle lasts a few months, during which multiple working sessions will be arranged. Each session will usually last an hour, although there may be occasional longer workshops.
Focus group members will also be invited to participate in related future pilots. However, these pilots will not be limited to users who have previously participated in a focus group.
Registration for our new user area focus groups is now open. We are looking for volunteers who can commit to participating actively during whole development cycles and related pilots. Ideally, you would be willing to participate in more than one development cycle over the next three years.
We will try to ensure a fair balance of users in terms of their profile, company size, location and level of expertise in EP and/or PCT proceedings before the EPO. So, even if we do not contact you immediately, we will save your details and get back to you when we need your support.
When you register, please indicate that you would like to participate in a focus group for our new user area.