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2 June 2016
The EPO has once again been rated top among the world's five largest patent offices (IP5) for patent quality and service, according to readers of Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine.
For its annual benchmarking survey, IAM asked corporate IP managers, executives working for non-practicing entities (NPEs) and private practice lawyers and attorneys to answer a series of questions about the EPO, Japan Patent Office (JPO), Korean Patent Office (KIPO), the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the State Intellectual Property Office, China (SIPO).
More than 600 people took part in the survey and all three groups ranked the EPO best for both quality and service. This echoed the results of IAM's 2015 benchmarking survey.
"Quality is our top strategic priority," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "We have been ISO 9001 certified for our granting process since 2014 and this was extended to cover the whole patent process last year. Users' affirmation of our high quality is a credit to the EPO staff who increased their production by 14% in 2015, at a time when applications rose a further 4.8%, all without compromising quality. These good results inspire us to continue improving the quality of our services"
Of those that provided a response, 87% of NPEs, 94% of private practitioners and 96% of corporate respondents said that the quality of patents issued by the EPO was "excellent", "very good" or "good". According to IAM, 15% of corporates and 19% of private practices who responded say that quality has further improved at the EPO over the past year.
The EPO has now received top marks for quality in every survey that IAM has published since 2010 (2016, 2015, 2012, 2011 and 2010).