Patent Quality Charter

Our commitment to excellence 

The EPO contributes to achieving the UN sustainable development goals and a safer, smarter, and more sustainable world by delivering high-quality patents and services, fostering innovation, competitiveness, and economic growth in technologies of transformation.

 It does so based on a solid legal framework and thanks to the expertise of its staff. Our stakeholders rely on us for timely delivery and the highest levels of legal certainty, predictability, and consistency.

To meet their expectations, we regularly review our procedures and how we collaborate, including how we can support and learn from each other.

We consistently live our values in every aspect of our work, whether it's processing patent applications, conducting post-grant proceedings or interacting with our user community. We are committed to excellence at all stages of the patent grant process and actively promote quality ownership among all stakeholders.

Quality through design

We build our systems to deliver quality products and services

  • We design and review our processes and workflows to increase transparency, efficiency and legal certainty.
  • We develop tools and procedures to better engage with and serve our workforce and the users of the European patent system. 
  • We offer and promote collaborative and interactive ways of working to help all parties gain experience and improve efficiency.
  • We provide reliable interfaces and databases to ensure secure access to the relevant state of the art.
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Quality through support

We promote knowledge sharing to achieve excellence

  • We facilitate access to expertise to support continual learning.
  • We nurture cross-departmental communities of practice and provide resources, tools and services that allow our staff to exchange best practices.
  • We harness the power of artificial intelligence to enhance our digital workflows.
  • We foster a culture of mutual learning and appreciation through initiatives such as the new audit dialogue to further improve quality.
  • We actively help and support each other, enabling us to create the collaborative environment we strive for.
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    Quality through shared values

    We believe that sustainable quality results from a set of shared values

    • Ownership, commitment and pride in serving the European patent system belong to our core values.
    • We recognise that delivering the highest quality standards is essential to the long‑term sustainability of the European patent system.
    • We are each and every one of us responsible and accountable for quality in the patent process.
    • We foster internal and external collaboration at all stages of the patent process to achieve the highest quality of products and services.
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      Quality through metrics and learning

      We build on a culture of continuous learning

      • We rely on robust quality metrics to make ongoing improvements to the efficiency of our services and the quality of our products.
      • We track accuracy and compliance with quality controls and audits, and with the help of our expert network.
      • We use root-cause analysis to identify ways we can improve.
      • We foster our internal quality culture by facilitating fact-based decision-making.
      • We promote open and transparent feedback channels between peers and experts, including exchange platforms, training and dedicated events.
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      Quality through dialogue

      We believe in strong engagement and dialogue with stakeholders

      • We engage in dialogue with  our stakeholders to understand expectations and respond to needs.
      • We involve our stakeholders and value all feedback as we look to continuously improve our products and services.
      • We regularly survey and engage with our stakeholders through open and inclusive consultation exercises to determine whether we are meeting their expectations.
      • We respond to customer enquiries and requests in a timely fashion.
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      We trust that this commitment to deliver products and services of the highest quality in a consistent and efficient manner, and to ensure legal certainty, leads to higher user satisfaction and confidence in the European patent system.