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17 December 2020

15.00 hrs

Event moderator: Aliki Nichogiannopoulou

Welcome to an AI driven world: Challenges, opportunities and IP strategy

António Campinos, President of the EPO

15.15 hrs

Panel discussion
IP5 initiatives on AI and New Emerging Technologies

The IP5 offices are estimated to handle ca. 85% of all patent applications worldwide. With that comes a responsibility to advance the integration of the global patent system and tackle issues of strategic importance.

Irene Schellner, International Co-operation, EPO   


Christian Hannon, Patent Attorney, Office of Policy and International Affairs, USPTO

Takuya Yasui, Deputy Director, International Policy Division, JPO

Wang Hua, Consultant, International Cooperation Department, CNIPA

Alica Daly, Senior Policy Officer on Artificial Intelligence and Data, WIPO

Huiman Kang, Deputy Director, International Cooperation Division, KIPO

Peter Martinsson, European patent attorney, Ericsson

16:00 hrs 

Latest trends in Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies

A presentation of the latest EPO study to provide users of the European patent system and the broader public with insights about the major technology trends that underpin 4IR globally.

Yann Ménière
, Chief Economist, EPO

Round table discussion

What are the issues around patenting AI?

A disruptive field like AI raises questions about what can be patented and how. EPO legal and procedural specialists discuss with patent practitioners the latest EPO guidelines and cases, including where AI was named as the inventor (DABUS).

Rachel Free, European Patent Attorney, CMS
Paul Gagnon, Senior Legal Counsel, Element AI
Heli Pihlajamaa, Director Patent Law, EPO
Yasemin Türkeli, Procedural Support, EPO

Yann Ménière, Chief Economist, EPO


AI already speaks the language of patents

Data scientists at the EPO use AI to optimise procedures and support the staff in some tasks. But it is clear that AI can go further still.  

Alexander Klenner-Bajaja, Head of Data Science, EPO


17.15 hrs
Panel discussion
Learning about AI and IP
Education leads to a better understanding of the impact of AI on patenting activity and the broader IP landscape. Bernt Hugenholtz and Jean-Marc Deltorn share their expert knowledge and insights from targeted education programmes on AI and IP.  


Xavier Seuba, Director, European Patent Academy 


Bernt Hugenholtz, Professor of Law and Co-Director of IViR, University of Amsterdam 

Jean-Marc Deltorn, Senior Researcher, CEIPI Strasbourg    

18 December 2020

10.00 hrs

Event moderator: Aliki Nichogiannopoulou

Highlights of Day 1

10.15 hrs
From patent to business success 

In conversation with AI and machine learning specialist Nicolas Douarche, the British inventor Steve Lindsey charts the path from patenting his revolutionary new compressor to the development of a smart factory. 

Steve Lindsey,CEO Lontra   

Nicolas Douarche, Team Manager  EPO  

10.30 hrs 4IR networking: European Lab for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS)

Europe has great talent in the field of machine learning and AI. Nuria Oliver presents ELLIS, a diverse European network that promotes research excellence and break throughs in AI  with the aim of boosting economic growth.  

Nuria Oliver, Co-founder and Vice-president of ELLIS  

11.00 hrs
Creative break - Let AI talk

Following a screening of the 2017 short film Our Friends Electric, which explores the near future of voice-enabled AI, EPO examiner Anton Versluis discusses the sophisticated collaborative process behind the finished product with the film-maker.

Anab Jain, Co-Founder of Superflux

Jon Ardern, Director and Co-Founder of Superflux

Anton Versluis, Team Manager EPO

11.15 hrs

Panel discussion 
Making Europe a global leader in innovation in the data economy
Following public consultation, the European Commission is developing an AI strategy. But how to put theory into practice so that innovation in Europe thrives? Will the question of data ownership be resolved by policy changes?
Panagiotis Rigopoulos, European and International Legal Affairs, EPO   

Juha Heikkilä, Head of AI unit, DG CNECT, European Commission
Clara Neppel, European Business Operations, IEEE  

Juan Antonio Heras Latorre, Head of Planning Service, Digital Transformation Department, EUIPO

Nicolas Sennequier, Chief Digital Officer, French Patent and Trademark Office (INPI)

Henrik Trasberg, Adviser, Intellectual Property and Competition Law Division, Estonian Ministry of Justice



 12.30 hrs

Closing words

Nellie Simon, Vice-President for Corporate Services, EPO

Speakers' profiles

Irene Schellner
Project Coordinator, International Co-operation, EPO

Irene joined the EPO in 1994 and initially worked as a Japanese and Asian patent information specialist. In 2012, Irene joined International Co-operation where she has since been in charge of coordinating co-operation projects between the EPO and the EPO’s Trilateral and IP5 partner offices. She has worked on several EPO strategic project proposals including the creation of the IP5 NET/AI task force.

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Yann Ménière
Chief Economist, EPO

Yann joined the EPO as Chief Economist in 2016. He has many years of experience of providing economic insights into issues relating to patents, innovation and economic growth. He contributes high-level expertise and analysis to public and expert forums on a regular basis. Yann led the chair on IP and Markets for Technology at MINES ParisTech where he was previously a professor of economics and lectured on the economics of IP.

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Alexander Klenner-Bajaja

Head of Data Science, BIT, EPO

Alexander joined the EPO in 2014 as member of a cross-functional IT team. In 2019, he became the head of the newly created Data Science department. The data science team is creating solutions using artificial intelligence to solve challenges in the patent grant process such as automated classification of applications and automated prior art search.

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Rachel Free

European Patent Attorney, CMS

Rachel Free is a partner at an international law firm and a UK and European patent attorney. She holds both an MSc in Artificial Intelligence and a DPhil in vision science. Rachel is also a member of the House of Lords all party parliamentary group that advises parliamentarians on AI.

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Paul Gagnon
Senior Legal Counsel, Element AI

Paul is an expert in data licensing and open-source software. His work at the Montreal-born AI company includes strategic IP matters and negotiation of strategic partnerships. He lectures at the Université de Sherbrooke Law Faculty and his academic research includes the co-creation of the Montreal Data License.

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Heli Pihlajamaa
Director of Patent Law, EPO

Heli Pihlajamaa has assisted extensively with EPO policy by developing, strengthening and promoting the EPC, including proposals for legal changes, compliance of operations with patent law-related norms and case law. She also advises senior EPO management on policy issues and legal amendments. Before joining the EPO, she worked in both the private and public sectors in Finland.

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Yasemin Türkeli

Procedural Support, EPO

Yasemin has been with the EPO since 2003 and worked as an examiner in bioinformatics, business methods and payment systems. Currently, she is tasked with designing procedures, drafting work instructions, and answering procedural questions. Yasemin passed the EQE in 2011 and is a member of the CII guidelines working group.

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Jean-Marc Deltorn

Senior Researcher, CEIPI

Jean-Marc worked as a patent examiner at the EPO in the ICT sector from 2003 to May 2020 and was a member of the EPO guidelines working group on CII. He then joined the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) to study the relationship between AI and the legal norms.

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Xavier Seuba

European Patent Academy, Director, EPO

Xavier joined the EPO in June 2020 as Director Patent Academy and EQE. He had previously been Academic and Scientific Coordinator at CEIPI (Center for International Intellectual Property Studies) and Vice Dean of the Law Faculty of UOC, among other responsibilities in higher education and academia.

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Steve Lindsey

CEO, Lontra

Steve was nominated for a European Inventor Award in 2017. His invention, a new type of rotary air compressor, offers substantial energy saving benefits and represents a shift in thinking when it comes to traditional manufacturing methods. He recently opened the UK’s first smart factory, where AI powered machines reduce waste, improve sustainability, and increase productivity.

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Nicolas Douarche

Team manager, EPO

Nicolas holds a PhD in physics. He joined the EPO as a patent examiner in 2007, working in AI/machine learning and quantum computing. For the past five years, he has been leading teams in these areas as well as other technical domains. Before joining the Office, his research was focussed on the interface between statistical physics and biology.

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Nuria Oliver

Vice President and Co-Founder, ELLIS

Nuria is a computer scientist with over 25 years of research experience in Artificial Intelligence, Human Computer Interaction and Mobile Computing at MIT. She was the first female Scientific Director at Telefonica R&D, the first Director of Research in Data Science at Vodafone and the first Chief Data Scientist at DataPop Alliance. She is vice-president and co-founder of ELLIS and co-founder of the Alicante ELLIS unit that is devoted to research on "Human(ity)-centric Artificial Intelligence". Nuria has 40 patent applications and granted patents to her name.

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Anton Versluis

Team Manager, EPO

Anton joined the EPO the Hague in 2006 as a patent examiner in the field of Pattern Recognition and Computer Vision. He worked at TNO, the Dutch research institution, on computer vision for robotic arms and as organisational advisor. Anthon graduated in Pattern Recognition at the faculty of Applied Physics of the Delft University, the Netherlands.

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Juha Heikkilä

Head of AI unit, DG CNECT, European Commission

Since 2014, Juha has been the Head of the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence unit in the European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, which develops the Commission policy and activities in AI. Previously, Juha was involved in computational and corpus linguistic research at the University of Helsinki, and he has a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge.

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Panagiotis Rigopoulos

Lawyer, European and International Legal Affairs, PCT, EPO

Panos joined the EPO as a lawyer in 2003 and currently deals with policy and legal aspects of the Office’s international co-operation. He has extensive experience with international patent harmonisation as well as with the development and implementation of work-sharing initiatives at the EPO, such as the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH).

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Clara Neppel

Senior Director, IEEE

Clara is responsible for the IEEE’s growth in Europe, focusing on industry, academia, and government. She joined IEEE after many years with the EPO where she was involved in aspects relating to innovation, IP and public policy in ICT. She co-authored publications on the patentability of CII and on future IP system scenarios.

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Bernt Hugenholtz

Professor of law and Co-Director of the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

Bernt is Professor of law and Co-Director of the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. He is also a professor at the University of Bergen, Norway, and regularly teaches at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center. He is one of Europe’s leading scholars in the field of copyright and has acted as an advisor to the World Intellectual Property Organization, the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Netherlands Ministry of Justice.

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Nellie Simon

Vice-President for Corporate Services, EPO

Nellie joined the EPO in January 2019, having previously held the post of Chief of Staff and acting head of the Academy at the EUIPO. She contributed to the strategic planning of the Office and the EUIPO’s digital transformation. Nellie holds a degree in computer science, as well as an MBA from London Business School.

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Christian Hannon

Patent Attorney, Office of Policy and International Affairs, USPTO

Chris is a member of the USPTO’s IP Policy Committee and a representative to the U.S. National Science and Technology Council’s Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Subcommittee. As a part of the IP Policy Committee, Chris has worked on both the USPTO’s recent AI reports, Inventing AI and Public Views on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Policy. Chris holds degrees in computer science, electrical engineering, and computer engineering.

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Aliki Nichogiannopoulou

Operational Director, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO

Aliki joined the EPO in 1998 as a patent examiner and has worked in operations, Patent Law and in European and International Co-operation. A molecular biologist by training she has been involved in several projects and activities, including raising IP awareness in academic institutions. She regularly represents the EPO in IP and scientific conferences and workshops and has a special interest in the legal and ethical aspects of patents in the life sciences.

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Huiman Kang

Deputy Director, International Cooperation Division, KIPO

Huiman joined KIPO in October 2010 and worked as a patent examiner in the field of chemical engineering and material science. Currently, he serves as deputy director at the International Cooperation Division for coordinating cooperation projects with IP5 offices including NET/AI task force.

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Alica Daly

Senior Policy Officer on Artificial Intelligence and Data, WIPO

Alica is the Senior Policy Officer on AI and Data at WIPO. She is responsible for coordinating policies in relation to AI and data in the context of IP and innovation. Alica joined WIPO as a research fellow in the Department for Economics and Data Analytics in 2017. Previously she was a patent examiner in chemical sciences and the first Head of Patent Analytics at IP Australia. Alica has a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Melbourne

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Jon Ardern

Co-founder and Artistic Director, Superflux 

Jon is a designer, artist and technologist. He holds an MA in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art, London, and leads Superflux’s conceptual and technical research projects. Jon has exhibited his work at the MoMA, New York, and V and A, London, and won prizes from UNESCO and New York’s Social Design Network. He has lectured at the Architectural Association in London, the MAD Faculty in Genk, Belgium, and Kitchen Budapest, Hungary.

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Anab Jain

Co-founder and Creative Director, Superflux

Anab is a designer, futurist, filmmaker and educator. Over the last 15 years, she has gained international recognition for her work and commentary on design, innovation, emerging technologies and complex futures. She is the recipient of the Award of Excellence ICSID, the UNESCO Digital Arts Award, and a Grand Prix from the Geneva Human Rights Festival. Anab is also a professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

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Juan Antonio Heras Latorre

Head of Planning Service, Digital Transformation Department, EUIPO

Juan has more than twenty years of experience at the EUIPO. He is managing the Planning Service department that coordinates the planning, delivery and reporting for all strategic projects, operational changes and new IT initiatives. This service also includes the team of digital workplace who provide EUIPO users with a reliable work environment.

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Wang Hua

Consultant, International Cooperation Department, CNIPA

Wang Hua joined the CNIPA in 2008 and worked as a patent examiner in the Telecommunication Invention Examination Department from 2008 to 2014. She then joined the International Cooperation Department and has been responsible for coordination of IP5, ID5, and TM5 projects at the CNIPA. Wang Hua holds degrees in Information engineering and system engineering.

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Nicolas Sennequier

Chief Digital Officer, French Patent and Trademark Office (INPI)

In addition to his current role at INPI, Nicolas has held various positions at French public institutions, including Director of Strategy and Director of Digital Learning at Institut Mines-Télécom; General Delegate of PSL Foundation (PSL University, Paris); and technical advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Research. He is an alumnus of the Ecole normale supérieure and MINES ParisTech, and holds a PhD in Chemistry from Sorbonne University.

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Peter Martinsson

European patent attorney, Ericsson

Peter is a European patent attorney at Ericsson with over 20 years of experience within the telecommunication and software field. In addition to patent drafting and prosecution, Peter is engaged in patent law harmonization as a member of the BUSINESSEUROPE delegation in Industry Trilateral and IP5. He is a member of SACEPO and a Council member for Sweden in the epi. Peter holds a master degree in computer science and engineering from Lund Institute of Technology.

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Takuya Yasui

Deputy Director, International Policy Division, JPO

Takuya started his carrier as a patent examiner at the JPO in 2004. He also contributed to various projects including the revision of Examination Guidelines for Patent and Utility Model in Japan and the expansion of Patent Prosecution Highway with many IP Offices. He currently serves as a deputy director at the International Policy Division and has overseen international cooperation projects including IP5 NET/AI task force.

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Henrik Trasberg

Adviser, Intellectual Property and Competition Law Division, Estonian Ministry of Justice

Henrik began his career as a lawyer in private practice before joining the Estonian Ministry of Justice in 2019. He has worked extensively on regulatory matters and business models with SMEs active in innovative technologies. He has also assisted with the creation of IP rights frameworks in Estonia. He is currently assisting with the development of IP rights frameworks in Estonia, with a specific focus on rule of law matters.

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