Report on the 172nd of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (13 October 2022)
The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 172nd meeting in Munich on 13 October under its Chairperson Josef KRATOCHVÍL (CZ), in a hybrid format. At the opening of the meeting, the Council together with the President of the Office warmly welcomed Montenegro as the 39th member state of the European Patent Organisation. A flag raising ceremony followed outside the EPO's buildings in Munich and The Hague.
The Council took a number of decisions on individual appointments, including to:
- appoint Mr Peter STRÖMBÄCK (SE) as a member of the Board of the Administrative Council (B28) for a three-years mandate
- re-appoint Ms Valeria FALCE (IT) and Mr Eero MANTERE (FI) as members of the Appeals Committee for another two-year mandate.
Turning to the Boards of Appeal Committee, the Council decided to:
- re-elect Ms Gabriella MUSCOLO (IT) and Mr Carlos GONÇALVES DE MELO MARINHO (PT) as alternate external members, as well as Ms Florence GALTIER (FR) as an alternate member, for a three-year mandate
- re-elect Mr Klaus BACHER (DE), Mr Colin BIRSS (UK) and Mr Are STENVIK (NO) as external members for another three-, two- and one-year terms of office respectively
- elect Mr Alexander PFISTER (CH) as an alternate member for a three-year mandate.
The Council also decided to appoint, re-appoint and promote members of the Boards of Appeal, based on proposals by the President of the Boards of Appeal and recommendations on those proposals by the Council Chairperson.
The Office presented a detailed report on its key achievements and developments in 2022 under each of the five main goals of the Strategic Plan 2023. The Council warmly thanked the Office and congratulated staff on the outstanding results. The Council also noted reports by the Chairpersons of the Select Committee and the Boards of Appeal Committee. The management report of the President of the Boards of Appeal for 2022 was also noted and deeply appreciated by the Council, which commended the continued exemplary commitment of the staff of the Boards of Appeal.
The Council subsequently approved the legal changes proposed by the Office to support digital transformation in the patent grant procedure. In a closed session, the Council:
- unanimously decided to support the roadmap for modernising the EPO's external governance proposed by the Chairperson. It also:
- discussed the request by the Republic of Moldova to accede to the European Patent Convention, and
- noted the intention of the President of the Office to propose the re-appointment of the three Vice-Presidents in December 2022.
The Council noted the information provided by the Office on the progress of the tender procedure concerning the "Vienna green hub" building project, as well as the next steps in the procedure.
Finally, the Council welcomed an update on the Unitary Patent protection presented by the Chairperson of the Select Committee.