EPO President Mr António Campinos invited AA Thornton to provide recommendations for the EPO’s strategic plan for 2019-2023, and our letter is shown below.
AA Thornton has actively encouraged the EPO in several of its recent initiatives. The ‘Early Certainty from Search’ scheme and the recent major reorganisation of the office were notable successes, and we applaud the increased investment in opposition experts, videoconference facilities and user consultation. We share the EPO’s commitment to a high quality and efficient European patent system that meets the needs of industry.
Our recommendations should be read in that context – they are recommendations to a hard-working and highly capable EPO management team to encourage the EPO to refocus on the main substantive patentability criteria and to avoid imposing unnecessary costs and constraints on applicants, while continuing to strive for high quality and efficiency. We have been very pleased by the responsiveness of the EPO’s senior management team to our earlier recommendations, and are very pleased to contribute to this discussion.
We believe industry needs consistency and predictability from patent offices, to enable us to optimize IP investments, and so we are encouraging the EPO to continue working towards consistent high quality, with clear and thorough examination and consistent standards across all divisions. This will allow us to continue providing AA Thornton clients with accurate predictions of outcomes and costs in examination, oppositions and appeals.
If you’d like to discuss any of the recommendations or thoughts in this letter, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.