Report on the 138th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (12 and 13 December 2013)
The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 138th meeting on 12 and 13 December 2013 under the chairmanship of Jesper Kongstad.
After noting its chairman's activities report, the Council heard the President of the Office, Benoît Battistelli, report on the most recent developments at the Office. It was pleased to hear that positive trends registered in previous periods concerning output, productivity and finances were continuing, and congratulated the President and all EPO staff on the excellent achievements in 2013. Delegations were reasonably optimistic for the future and reiterated their full support of the measures outlined in the various roadmaps presented by the President in 2011, in particular the Human Resources roadmap.
The chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Academy of the European Patent Organisation, Alexandru Cristian Ştrenc (RO), then reported orally on the board's meeting in November 2013.
Under the heading appointments/elections, Habip Asan, President of the Turkish Patent Institute, was elected member of the Board of the Administrative Council for a three-year term; Guus Broesterhuizen (NL) and Jørgen Smith (NO) were reappointed members of the Appeals Committee for the year 2014, together with Darina Kyliánová (SK) as alternate member. Four new members and a new chairman of the boards of appeal were also appointed, namely:
- Graham Ashley (GB), appointed as chairman of a board of appeal and technically qualified member of the Enlarged Board of Appeal with effect from 1 April 2014;
- Vincenzo Bevilacqua (IT), appointed as technically qualified member of the boards of appeal with effect from 1 April 2014;
- Matthew Foulger (GB), appointed as technically qualified member of the boards of appeal with effect from 1 April 2014;
- Oliver Randl (AT), appointed as technically qualified member of the boards of appeal, subject to Articles 8 and 9 of the Service Regulations and with effect from a date to be agreed upon between him and the President of the Office;
- Harald Bronold (DE), appointed as technically qualified member of the boards of appeal with effect from 1 April 2014.
The Council also appointed Frédéric Angermann, Senior Auditor at the French Court of Auditors, as member of the Board of Auditors for a five-year term with effect from 1 January 2014.
Concerning the unitary patent, after the status report on latest developments given by the Lithuanian delegation on behalf of the current EU presidency, the chairman of the Select Committee reported on the committee's 5th and 6th meetings. The Council was informed that a number of EPC contracting states not taking part in enhanced co-operation on unitary patent protection had been granted observer status on the Select Committee, and that other EPC contracting states not taking part in enhanced co-operation would henceforth be automatically granted such status upon request.
The Council also adopted a set of amendments to the Implementing Regulations to the EPC. The first amendment extends the reimbursement possibilities of the appeal fee under Rule 103 EPC. The second amendment limits the scope of application of the fee reduction under Rule 6 EPC and its applicability to specifically defined categories of applicants, but at the same time increases the rate of reduction.
With regard to financial and budgetary matters, the Council noted the oral report of the chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, Serafeim Stasinos (GR), on the committee's 107th meeting (29 October 2013).
The Council unanimously adopted the 2014 authorisation budget (amounting to EUR 2 078 895 000) and table of posts, and approved the financial estimates for 2015-2018. The staff complement will remain stable at 7 075. The adjustment of salaries and pensions paid by the EPO (with effect from 1 July 2013), as well as the biennal adjustment of fees and prices (with effect from 1 April 2014) are included in the budget.
All documents which the Council approves for publication on a case-by-case basis can be found under the following link: