Shaping the future of digital patenting services

Group of country flags surrounded by trees in front of the EPO headquarters in Munich

​​Over 70 participants from various EPC countries convened in Munich on 21 and 22 January for impactful roundtable discussions on Europe-wide IT co-operation, highlighting advances in the adoption of patent search tools and addressing key challenges for intellectual property (IP) organisations, ranging from the uses of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep data to security issues.

Among the attendees at the series of roundtables at the European Patent Office (EPO) were representatives of organisations such as the epi and EUIPO. These discussions will further inform the EPO's forthcoming Strategic Plan 2028.

The primary objective of the roundtables on day one was to share updates on the latest progress made to date. Noteworthy advances were highlighted, including the increasingly widespread adoption of EPO tools across Europe, such as ANSERA-based Search (which runs on the EPO’s own highly sophisticated ANSERA search tool), Front Office and the Single Access Portal. Additionally, participants shared insights into current ways of working, emphasising aspects such as security, maintenance and system upgrades.

The second day of discussions provided a platform for participants to exchange on project design, addressing major challenges encountered by IP organisations and proposals for shared solutions. The agenda also included in-depth discussions on emerging technologies, including those driven by deep data and artificial intelligence (AI), complete with practical demonstrations.

Building on the outcome of the conversations, the EPO will further elaborate its forthcoming Strategic Plan 2028. This will involve aiming to refine project content, optimise working groups and adapt delivery methods to encourage broader participation to ensure maximum positive impact.