EPO meets with Syngenta

On 15 May, the European Patent Office (EPO) met with Syngenta Crop Protection AG, a leading science-based agricultural technology company and active Unitary Patent user. The meeting centred on patent quality and explored how Syngenta can best provide feedback using existing channels. This was one of 50 such meetings the EPO will hold this year under the Quality Action Plan initiative "deepened dialogue with our users". Direct user engagement provides the EPO with valuable insight and helps to identify areas in which improvement is needed. 

Filip de Corte, Head of Intellectual Property at Syngenta Crop Protection, participated in an interview after the meeting. He emphasised that the meeting reflected a shared goal between the EPO and Syngenta: ensuring patent quality. In addition, he offered a definition of quality and expressed his thoughts on how examiners could ensure it is met. "The quality of a patent, for me, means it must be enforceable. We invest around $1.5 billion annually in discovering and developing new products, so when the European Patent Office grants us a patent, we need to rely on its validity… My message [to patent examiners] is ‘be sceptical and be critical’."

This is the second interview in the series “The voice of our users”. In each episode, we invite users to share their views on the EPO and our practices.

After the successful exchange, EPO and Syngenta agreed to maintain dialogue and organise a technical follow-up meeting.

About Syngenta

Syngenta was ranked 91 in the Patent Index 2023 and is an active Unitary Patent user. The company provides agricultural science and technology, particularly seeds and pesticides, with its management headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. It is owned by ChemChina, a Chinese state-owned enterprise, and heavily invests in R&D, focusing on future technologies such as biologicals and digital agriculture.