​​EPO User Day 2024: over 8 400 viewers followed panels and sessions about key developments and digital services at the EPO

User day 20024

More than 8 400 viewers from 51 countries attended this year’s User Day, which was streamed live on 11 and 12 June and featured 51 speakers across 28 sessions. Designed to address the primary concerns of users, the event’s high number of participants each year reflects its relevance for the user community. Various breakout sessions provided guidance on the newest features of everyday tools for working with the EPO while panels gave insights on strategic priorities such as quality, the Unitary Patent and services for SMEs and micro entities. The event also connected experts with users, creating a platform that fostered the fruitful exchange of knowledge and experiences. 

Keeping the focus on quality  

In his introductory remarks EPO President António Campinos said, “Our three examiner divisions, the quality of our staff, the quality of our data and the quality of our search engine make the EPO very strong in terms of quality when you compare us to any other office or organisation in the world.” 

Following the opening, speakers from industry, including several SMEs, and the patent profession participated in panel discussions with EPO experts covering a range of initiatives as part of the Quality Action plan and highlighting the importance of Stakeholder Quality Assurance Panels (SQAPs).  

"SQAPs are a dive into the real practices of examiners," said Valérie Mellet, European patent and trademark attorney and CEO of PATENT42. On her experience participating in SQAP sessions, she said, "I wanted to know how the EPO was assessing the procedure and merits and I have not been disappointed because it was a frank and open discussion." 

Improving processes and transparency with the next generation of digital services  

Break-out sessions informed users about the latest developments to EPO digital services such as MyEPO Portfolio, Mailbox, Online Filing 2.0 and two-factor authentication methods (2FA).  

As smart cards will no longer be used as of 1 January 2025, users who have not already done so were strongly encouraged to begin using 2FA to sign into online services. 

The sessions also demonstrated how the ability to interact with examiners in real-time using the shared area in MyEPO Portfolio further increases the quality, transparency and efficiency of the EPO’s processes.  

Guiding SMEs to make the best possible use of the European patent system 

The programme offered specialised sessions aimed at empowering SMEs and new users, sharing resources on fee reductions and how the Deep Tech Finder can help connect investors and inventors. Further highlights included panel discussions about the Unitary Patent system’s successful first year, its benefits and why it is an attractive option for SMEs.   

"It’s very exciting to see so many SMEs, universities and research institutions among the requesters," said Markus Grammel, a partner at Grünecker. "I think it’s a testament to the original promise of the Unitary System, providing an affordable means of getting broad geographic protection.

Partnering with users 

Steve Rowan, EPO Vice-President Patent Granting Process, closed the event by thanking the audience, panellists and EPO experts for their participation. “We will continue to challenge ourselves – in partnership with you, our users - to continue to achieve even higher levels of quality in the patent granting process” he said. 

Publishing the recordings 

Marking the fourth fully digital edition, User Day was streamed across all official EPO channels, including LinkedIn and YouTube. You can watch recordings of all the English EPO User Day sessions by using the link below. Recordings of the French and German break-out sessions will be published shortly.