Report on the 140th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (25-26 June 2014)
The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 140th meeting on 25 and 26 June 2014 in The Hague, with Jesper Kongstad (DK) in the chair.
Just before the meeting, President Benoît Battistelli and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte had jointly laid the foundation stone of the new main building due to accommodate approximately 1 750 working places at the EPO branch in The Hague as from 2017.
The meeting as such started as usual with the Council chairman's activities report, immediately followed by a report from the President on recent developments at the European Patent Office. The Council was pleased to hear that positive trends registered in previous periods were continuing, and congratulated the President, his management team and EPO staff for the outstanding results achieved and for the successful implementation of the measures outlined in the various roadmaps it had approved in 2011.
The Council therefore reiterated its full support to the President for maintaining the course of reforms and unanimously approved his proposals concerning further actions to be undertaken in the areas covered by the roadmaps (Buildings, IT, Co-operation, Quality and Human Resources).
The most important topic under the heading appointments/elections concerned the presidency of the European Patent Office. The Council, pursuant to Article 11(1) in conjunction with Article 35(2) EPC, decided to extend the mandate of Benoît Battistelli by three years, commencing on 1 July 2015.
The Council also re-elected Bucura Ionescu (RO) deputy chairwoman of the Technical and Operational Support Committee for a three-year term of office, starting on 1 July 2014, and Josef Kratochvil (CZ) chairman of that committee, also for a three-year term of office, starting on 26 October 2014.
Having approved a revision of the Regulations of the Academy of the European Patent Organisation, the Council then elected Patricia García-Escudero (ES) and Marco Dinis (PT) as members of the Supervisory Board of the Academy for a renewable three-year term of office, starting on 26 June 2014.
Under legal and international affairs, the Council, after the status report given by the Hellenic delegation on behalf of the EU Presidency on the latest developments concerning the unitary patent, followed by the report of the chairman of the Committee on Patent Law on the committee's 44th meeting, heard the chairman of the Select Committee report on the committee's 8th and 9th meetings. It noted that the draft Rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection had been adopted in principle. Some technical aspects and the issue of renewal fees for unitary patents will nevertheless be further discussed after the summer break.
On staff matters, the Council approved an amendment of the procedure for adjusting the remuneration of permanent employees of the European Patent Office.
Concerning financial matters, budget and planning, the Council noted the oral report given by Serafeim Stasinos (GR), chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, on the committee's 108th meeting (27-28 May 2014), and unanimously approved the 2013 accounts. In consequence, and as recommended by the Board of Auditors in their report on 2013, it unanimously discharged the President in respect of his implementation of the 2013 budget, and the Administrator of the Reserve Funds for Pensions and Security in respect of his fund management in 2013.
The Council then gave a unanimous favourable opinion on the initial 2015 budgetary orientations.
All documents which the Council approves for publication on a case-by-case basis can be found under: