​EPO meets with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft​

On 1 March, the EPO met with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as part of our user outreach programme. Fraunhofer is one of Europe’s major research organisations, a leading applicant and a top early adopter of the Unitary Patent, with over 120 requests for unitary effect to date. Engaging with a research organisation making significant use of the patent system is vital to continuously improve dialogue with our applicants. 

​​Lively discussions on a broad spectrum of topics   

​EPO President António Campinos and Fraunhofer President Holger Hanselka both shared insights into key strategic matters and presented their visions for the future. The focus then shifted to the significance of intellectual property for research institutes and small entities, and a discussion about the Observatory on Patents and Technology. The meeting also provided a forum for operational experts to exchange on a range of technical topics, such as standard essential patents, initial experiences with the Unitary Patent system and aspects of the patent granting process. Looking ahead, these exchanges will contribute to a stronger relationship with Fraunhofer and ensure ongoing dialogue. 

Further strengthening our dialogue with users 

The EPO is currently finalising an extensive user outreach programme, with many similar meetings with external stakeholders scheduled throughout the year. Such meetings are a crucial part of our user engagement and form part of the EPO’s ongoing patent quality initiatives. Every exchange serves to deepen dialogue with our users and gain insights into filing strategies, new technologies and applicants’ future plans. 

Continuous user dialogue is also maintained through regular Standing Advisory Committee (SACEPO) meetings, independent user satisfaction surveys, online public consultations and our customer service portal. Thanks to the valuable input of a wide range of stakeholders via these channels, the EPO is able to continually improve its products and services and develop initiatives to meet evolving applicant needs. 

About Fraunhofer

​The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e. V. is a research organisation with 76 institutes located across Germany, each specialising in various fields of applied science. The organisation has approximately 30 800 employees, comprising mainly scientists and engineers, and an annual research budget of around €3 billion.