Press release | 27.6.2019
Munich/The Hague 27 June 2019 - The European Patent Office (EPO) has set out an ambitious vision to excel in its role as one of the world’s foremost intellectual property offices.
The EPO’s Strategic Plan (SP2023), unanimously adopted yesterday by its Administrative Council, focuses on achieving five goals that will ensure the EPO is capable of delivering excellence to all its stakeholders
Staff engagement, a modern IT infrastructure, quality products and services and a high-impact European patent network have all been targeted as strategic objectives that will help the organisation to achieve its fifth and ultimate goal of future sustainability. Each goal features several key initiatives that will be implemented over the next four years, with some projects expected to extend beyond the duration of the current plan.
SP2023 was developed in consultation with the EPO's 38 member states, patent system users, the public, national intellectual property (IP) offices and EPO staff in two rounds of consultation to ensure that the Office's priorities strike a balance between all its stakeholders' needs.
"This Strategic Plan is a clear vision of how we want our Office to look in the future, and how we plan to achieve it," said EPO President António Campinos. "What we have now is a roadmap for achieving a more sustainable patent office for Europe, better equipped to succeed in an evolving IP landscape. We intend to be a more adaptable and agile organisation that can support inventors everywhere with improved and more responsive services. This may be ambitious, but with the commitment and expertise of our staff, we also believe that it is achievable."
Since its creation some 40 years ago, the EPO has built its reputation on providing high-quality products and services that are recognised globally: timely delivery of the patent grant procedure, thorough novelty searches, and predictable outcomes of the examination on patentability, as well as fair review procedures of its decisions.
The Strategic Plan was developed against the backdrop of rising demand for patent protection in Europe. Over 174 000 applications were filed at the EPO in 2018 and this figure is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3-4%. There is also clear evidence of the growing economic importance of IP protection. Within the EU, industries that make intensive use of IP rights such as patents, trade marks and registered designs account for some 38% of jobs, 42% of GDP and 90% of external trade. A recent study published by the EPO and EUIPO also showed that SMEs using European patents or bundles of IP rights are more likely to experience high growth.
the combination of an increasingly networked and globalised
world economy, new players in the patent system, evolving stakeholder
expectations and rapid technological change mean that the EPO faces complex new
challenges. SP2023 is a roadmap that will help the EPO to rise to these
challenges and make sustainable advances.
The Strategic Plan identifies five areas:
It took several months to draft SP2023, as it incorporated broad-based feedback from a variety of sources. Members of the general public were invited to submit comments in an online consultation on specific topics, and the EPO's member states shared their views on challenges facing the patent system and how to foster co-operation with the EPO. Additionally, some 100 user groups and other bodies such as SACEPO (Standing Advisory Committee before the EPO) shared their strategic vision and views on enhanced collaboration. EPO staff members were also invited to comment on SP2023 both online and in face-to-face meetings with President Campinos. Two rounds of consultation produced a plan that provides a clear roadmap for achieving the shared vision expressed in the five main goals.
To read the full plan, please visit Strategic Plan 2023.
With nearly 7 000 staff, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest public service institutions in Europe. Headquartered in Munich with offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna, the EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation on patents in Europe. Through the EPO's centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in up to 44 countries, covering a market of some 700 million people. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information and patent searching.
Director External Communication
EPO Press Desk
Tel. +49 89 2399 1833
Mobile: +49 16 3839 9527