Driver 2: Technologies

Driver 2

Technology has transformed the way we work and the way we interact with each other. It multiplies our ability to adapt to a changing environment and work flexibly, facilitates greater collaboration among all stakeholders and can boost our efficiency and productivity.  

Under Strategic Plan 2028 (SP2028), the EPO will elevate its capabilities with cutting-edge technologies that build a resilient infrastructure, drive digital transformation in the Patent Granting Process as well as in corporate services and leverage new technologies with the highest standards of IT security. 

Read Driver 2 in full

Build a resilient digital infrastructure 

Under Strategic Plan 2023, the EPO significantly upgraded its digital infrastructure, achieving excellence in IT system availability and disaster recovery. Under SP2028, our organisation is committed to achieving even higher levels of service and reliability.   

To ensure a robust and uninterrupted service experience, we are determined to provide a strategic mix of on-premises and cloud-based resources, continue with the decommissioning of inadequate legacy tools and proactively invest in cutting-edge monitoring and observability technologies. Our goal is to ensure that by 2028 we no longer depend on any legacy IT system for key activities. This approach will empower us to deliver highly reliable solutions while mitigating the risk of downtime and supporting better scalability and failover possibilities. 

KPI target

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99% availability of IT systems

Drive digital transformation 

Our vision under SP2028 is to continue to use a user-centric approach with fast iterative cycles to deliver minimum viable products, making change management an integral part of our organisation's digital evolution. 

Cross-functional, collaborative teams will forge strong relationships with users to deeply understand their requirements, paving the way for delivering fit-for-purpose solutions. Within the framework of IT co-operation, national patent offices will be supported in fully leveraging the technological solutions that we have developed together in working groups and common projects. Prioritisation, transparency, the roll-out of new software and simplification boards will reinforce these change management principles. 

KPI targets

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99.5% of Patent Granting processes digitalised by volume, 90% in corporate area

Deliver excellence through the use of digital tools 

Since 2019, the EPO's strategic investments in the patent granting process (PGP) classification and search programmes have streamlined patent processing, achieving a 99% paperless backend and reducing manual and administrative work.    

In SP2028, our ambitious goal is to connect the PGP back-office with our online user tools, resulting in a fully end-to-end solution that operates entirely in the digital realm. In addition, we plan to modernise the remaining backend tools, which are now more than two decades old.  

Throughout our SP2028 journey, the potential of technologies to modernise the way the EPO works will be actively studied. By harnessing the power of technology and data-driven insights, we aim to streamline operations, enhance decision-making capabilities and elevate the overall efficiency of our Office. Through the integration of innovative tools and systems, we strive to create a seamless and user-friendly experience for both our internal teams and external partners

Leverage AI for our needs 

Though the EPO's path into artificial intelligence (AI) remains cautious, we have realised that to fully utilise the potential of AI, it must be integrated in everyday tools. As part of SP2028 initiatives, the EPO will continue to leverage AI to fulfil both its mission of delivering high-quality patents and efficient services that foster innovation, competitiveness and economic growth. 

Specifically, the EPO will continue to leverage AI for classification-related tasks, exploring innovative ways of applying this technology to ensure seamless processing of the ever-mounting volume of prior art. Another area is in the allocation of files to the right examiners at the right time – a pillar of our high quality. Beyond the patent area, and on the basis of a business case analysis, AI might be integrated in administrative support tasks, such as minute taking, data analysis, knowledge sharing and learning, writing technical documentation, and coding and testing. 

KPI target

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90% quality in AI-based classification

Secure our data 

Our journey into SP2028 maintains our commitment towards digital transformation, leveraging technology as a catalyst for change. And the EPO will continue to seek opportunities for improvement, putting users at the centre and fostering a culture of adaptability and collaboration. 

Given the evolving threat landscape where new attack methods and techniques surface regularly, the Office plans to strengthen its security measures under SP2028 by improving further its detection capabilities and its cyber defence.