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Data protection statement on processing personal data in the context of the PATLIB network and its centres

Protecting your privacy is of the utmost importance to the European Patent Office (‘EPO'). The Office is committed to respecting and protecting your personal data and ensuring your rights as a data subject. All data of a personal nature that identifies you directly or indirectly will be handled fairly, lawfully and with due care.

This processing operation is subject to the Guidelines for the Protection of Personal Data in the European Patent Office.

The information in this communication is given pursuant to Articles 13 and 14 of the Guidelines.

1. What is the nature and the purpose of the processing operation?

Personal data are processed only for the purpose of carrying out the administration, collaboration and communication with the PATLIB centres with regard to all PATLIB related matters.

This privacy statement refers only to the data processed for the purposes stated in this section. The EPO data privacy policy for the processing of personal data in MS 365 can be found at:

Personal data processed through the use of MS Forms is subject to the EPO data privacy policy for the processing of personal data in MS Forms available at:

Personal data are processed for the following purposes:  

  • Administration of PATLIB network
  • Communicating within the PATLIB network
  • Identifying participants and contributors to PATLIB activities
  • Providing data subjects with information about the PATLIB activities by means of a regular email
  • Providing data subjects with invitations to PATLIB and other IP-related EPO meetings, events and trainings
  • Inviting data subjects with certain recorded skills to collaborate within the PATLIB network as experts, speakers, consultants, etc.
  • Keeping an online directory of PATLIB centres and experts; the directory is available to the public to find IP specific support and contains contact details of the PATLIB centres and their experts. Through to self-administration, the centres decide on type and amount of disclosed details
  • Keeping a record of data subjects' participation in activities organised in the PATLIB network, the business cases submitted and any feedback received.
  • Document exchange within the PATLIB network
  • Information exchange on events within the PATLIB network events calendar

2. What personal do we process?

The following categories of personal data are processed (not all categories are processed for every data subject):

  • name
  • email address
  • phone number
  • name and address of the PATLIB centre where the data subject works
  • area of responsibility
  • gender
  • information provided by data subjects
  • feedback received on data subjects, for example by participants where the data subject is a trainer.

3. Who is responsible for processing the data?

The processing of personal data is carried out under the responsibility of the Principal Director of the PD Patent Knowledge acting as delegated EPO data controller. Personal data are processed by the EPO staff working in the Directorate  Patent Knowledge Promotion (PATLIB) and Stakeholders and EPO staff members in charge of maintaining the underlying technical platform.

Personal data might be processed by external service providers supporting the EPO for certain activities, for instance for sending questionnaires to the PATLIB centres and for collecting the responses on behalf of the EPO.

The EPO takes all the appropriate safeguards in order to guarantee that the service provider will follow the EPO instructions on how to process your personal data in compliance with data protection requirement.

Personal data will only be used for the purpose of the contracted work, and then destroyed.

4. Who has access to your personal data and to whom is it disclosed?

The personal data are disclosed to the following recipients:

  • Participants in the PATLIB network
  • the EPO's staff members of the European Co-operation Directorate
  • the EPO’s staff members of the Principal Directorate Communication
  • the respective national patent office in order to guarantee the accuracy of the personal data.

The personal data are not disclosed to any other recipient and is not intended to be transferred to third countries.

Furthermore, the part of personal data disclosed in the online directory is available to the public without restriction.
The PATLIB Centre is responsible for the accuracy of its own data within the PATLIB directory.

Any third-party is directly responsible for misusing the publicly accessible data within the PATLIB directory.

5. How do we protect and safeguard your information?

We take appropriate technical and organisational measures to safeguard and protect your personal data from accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration and unauthorised disclosure or access.

The EPO has pre-configured the tool settings in order to make sure that the personal data are protected and that all possible measures have been taken to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the information within the tool.

6. How can you access your personal information and, if necessary, correct it?

How can you receive your data? How can you request that your personal data be erased, or restrict or object to its processing?

You have the right to access, rectify, erase and receive your personal data, as well as restrict its processing and object to the same, as provided in Article 14 of the Guidelines.

You also have the right to withdraw the consent at any time.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please send a written query explicitly specifying your request to the data controller, at the following email address: .

Your request will be answered within three months of receipt of the request. However, according to Article 14(7) of the Guidelines, this period may be extended, taking into account the complexity and number of requests. The Office will inform you of any such extension.

Data published in the online directory can be directly accessed via self-administration. 

7. How long can data be kept?

Personal data will be kept for as long as the person is a member of the network and three years thereafter.

8. What is the legal basis for processing your data?

Personal data is processed in accordance with:

  • Article 5(a) of the Guidelines, which states that ‘processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the legitimate interest of the official authority vested in the European Patent Office';
  • Article 5(e) of the Guidelines, which states that ‘data subjects has given his consent‘.

9. Contact information

Should you have any queries on the processing of your personal data, please address them to the data controller at the following email address: . You may consult the EPO Data Protection Officer at: