About the Observatory

The Observatory on Patents and Technology keeps informed debate on innovation transparent and open to all. As a globally accessible digital hub, it offers a first port of call for anyone seeking the latest insights into technology trends that will shape the world for generations to come. This is where the European Patent Office (EPO), together with its stakeholders and leading experts from the fields of industry, finance, academia and intellectual property (IP), presents vital technology intelligence.

If you share our goal of democratising innovation to create a safer, smarter, more sustainable world, then explore the resources on these pages and get involved. Our collection of digital tools, analyses and extensive studies will continue to grow – so stay tuned. Don’t miss our incisive, in-depth discussions and online seminars with a broad community of experts looking at innovation from every angle. We will draw on the EPO’s unrivalled patent data and analysis, blended with high-quality studies and insights from leading authorities in the relevant sectors of society. With our unique grassroots focus on IP and financing for innovation at startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and universities, we hope to appeal to the next generation of innovators.

Everyone is invited to contribute – from young people and the general public to inventors of the next big thing and the investors who support them. Policymakers, legislators and researchers seeking to gain or share a better understanding of rapidly changing technology landscapes will also benefit. Making the results of the Observatory’s activities accessible to all will avoid the duplication of efforts and further fuel new collaboration and synergies.

Our three streams

The Observatory's activities will be structured around the following main streams:

Stream 1: Technology intelligence
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We map critical technology developments and their pan-European innovation ecosystems. This provides the basis for promoting co-ordination and collaboration among the key players to bring innovative solutions to market.

Stream 2: Legal and innovation policy
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We analyse patent law, patent knowledge and patent intelligence in the context of broader innovation frameworks, related economic tools (e.g. public funding and taxation) and other areas of law. We also address hotly debated topics such as patenting activity in the medical sector (see also topic 8) and the relationship between standards and patents (see also topic 10).

Stream 3: Diversity and transformation
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We deepen non-specialist audiences’ understanding of the innovation/patent system, by clearly and accessibly communicating insights generated by Streams 1 and 2, amongst other things. This enables greater diversity in the innovation ecosystem and promotes the inclusion of currently underrepresented actors. Reaching out to young people – to foster the skills and knowledge required to analyse technical problems and develop potential solutions – is another key focus area.

See also

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to contribute to our work, we would be pleased to hear from you: