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Communiqués


Munich, 26 October 2022

28th meeting of the Select Committee of EU Member States participating in enhanced co-operation on Unitary Patent protection (Munich, 14 October 2022)


The Select Committee of the European Patent Organisation held its 28th meeting in Munich in hybrid mode on 14 October 2022 under its Chairperson Mr Jérôme DEBRULLE (BE).

The Committee unanimously decided to admit North Macedonia as an observer, and warmly welcomed it to the meeting.

The Committee noted the report by the Chair of the UPC Administrative Committee, Mr Alexander RAMSAY. An update on the entry into application of the Unitary Patent (UP) was also presented by the head of the delegation from the Czech Republic, which holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the second half of 2022, and the head of the delegation from Sweden, which will assume the EU Presidency for the first half of 2023. The imminent entry into application of the Unitary Patent Protection (UPP) announced by the UPC for 1 April 2023 was eagerly anticipated.

As regards the UPP budget, the Committee gave a unanimous favourable opinion on the draft budgetary statement of income and expenditure on tasks related to unitary patent protection, which will be included in the EPO Budget 2023 as a separate annex.

Moreover, the Committee noted the extensive update on the communication activities supporting the UPP, which it commended. It was also updated on the agreement with the European Commission under Article 14 Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012, which is due to be signed in the near future.

Finally, the Committee was given an overview of the UPP-related monitoring mechanisms being set up.

The Committee's next meeting will take place in March 2023 in the margins of the 174th meeting of the EPO's Administrative Council.

Council Secretariat


Munich, 13 October 2022

172nd meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (Munich, 13 October 2022)

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 172nd meeting in Munich on 13 October under its Chairperson Josef KRATOCHVÍL (CZ) in a hybrid format.

At the opening of the meeting, the Council together with the President of the Office warmly welcomed Montenegro as the 39th member state of the European Patent Organisation. A flag raising ceremony followed outside the EPO's buildings in Munich and The Hague.

The Council was subsequently presented with the Office's activities report featuring  a goal by goal update on the achievements and key developments  to date in 2022. The Council also noted the management report of the President of the Boards of Appeal (BoA) for 2022 and warmly thanked the Office's staff for their outstanding efforts.

The Council noted the reports of the Chairpersons of the Select Committee and the Boards of Appeal Committee (BOAC), and congratulated Mr Jorma HANSKI (FI) on his recent election as BOAC chairperson. Turning to other key strategic topics, the Council also approved the legal changes proposed by the Office to support digital transformation in the patent grant procedure. It also noted the information provided by the Office on the progress of the tender procedure concerning the "Vienna green hub" building project, as well as the next steps to be taken.

Furthermore, in a closed session, the Council unanimously decided to support the roadmap for modernising the EPO's external governance proposed by the Chairperson. It also discussed the request by the Republic of Moldova to accede to the European Patent Convention and noted the intention of the  President of the Office to propose the re-appointment   of the three Vice-Presidents  in December 2022.

An update on Unitary Patent (UP) protection was then presented by the Chairperson of the Select Committee. More information on recent achievements, as well as the remaining steps to be taken prior to the UP's launch, is available in the Communiqué of the Select Committee, which held its latest meeting on 14 October 2022.

Finally, the Council also took a number of decisions on individual appointments and decided to:

  • appoint Mr Peter STRÖMBÄCK (SE) as member of the Board of the Administrative Council (B28) for three-years mandate
  • re-appoint Ms Valeria FALCE (IT) and Mr Eero MANTERE (FI) as members of the Appeals Committee for another two-year mandate.

In terms of appointments to the BOAC, the Council decided to:

  • re-elect Ms Gabriella MUSCOLO (IT) and Mr Carlos GONÇALVES DE MELO MARINHO (PT) as alternate external members as well as Ms Florence GALTIER (FR) as alternate member, for a three-year mandate
  • re-elect Mr Klaus BACHER (DE) Mr Colin BIRSS (UK) and Mr Are STENVIK (NO) as external member, for another term of office of three, two and one year respectively
  • and elect Mr Alexander PFISTER (CH) as alternate member for a three-years mandate.

The Council also decided to appoint, re-appoint and promote members of the Boards of Appeal, based on proposals by the BoA President and recommendations on those proposals by the Council Chairperson.

Council Secretariat

Munich, 22 July 2022

27th meeting of the Select Committee of EU Member States participating in the enhanced co-operation on Unitary Patent Protection (Munich, 30 June 2022)

The Select Committee of the European Patent Organisation held its 27th meeting in Munich in hybrid form on 30 June 2022 under its Chairperson Mr Jérôme DEBRULLE (BE).

Firstly, the Committee noted the report by the Chair of the UPC Administrative Committee, Mr Alexander RAMSAY. It was also presented with an update on the entry into application of the Unitary Patent (UP) from the head of the delegation from France, which holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first half of 2022, and by the head of the Czech delegation, the member state holding the EU Presidency for the second half of 2022. All reports augured well for a speedy start to the Unitary Patent System.

The Committee then noted the financial simulations for the Unitary Patent Package (UPP), giving an update on UPP-related costs, as well as the preliminary financial simulations of the safety net mechanism, which was presented in closed session.

The Committee was subsequently given an update on the UPP communication campaign and on the top-up search offered by the Office on earlier national rights in view of the Unitary Patent. The updated results of the questionnaire on national measures to accompany UP implementation were also noted.

Furthermore, the Committee took note of an update on the agreement with the European Commission under Article 14 Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012.

Finally, the Committee noted the state of play of its work programme and the steps to be taken in the second half of 2022. It was also given an update by the Office on steps planned with regard to the future disciplinary framework for European patent attorneys acting before the United Patent Court.

The Committee’s next meeting will take place in October 2022 in the margins of the 172nd meeting of the Administrative Council.

Select Committee Secretariat



Munich, 14 July 2022

171st meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (Munich, 29 and 30 June 2022)

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 171st meeting in Munich on 29 and 30 June under its Chairperson Josef KRATOCHVÍL (CZ). It was the first ever "hybrid" Council meeting, combining in person with online attendance.

Firstly, the Council unanimously decided to re-appoint Mr António CAMPINOS (PT) as President of the European Patent Office for a second mandate of five years. Numerous delegations warmly congratulated the President on his re-appointment and the Office's outstanding achievements in the past four years of his presidency.

The Council was also presented with the Office's activities report in the form of a comprehensive video, highlighting the prominent achievements from 2021, major changes related to the "new normal" and its substantial progress with the Strategic Plan. The President thanked all colleagues for their outstanding efforts in challenging times. Several member states congratulated the Office on the excellent results achieved under difficult circumstances.

The Council subsequently discussed several other key topics and approved:

  • the proposal on the professional mobility package
  • the request by the Visegrad Patent Institute for observer status on the Administrative Council
  • the requests on working agreements on search co-operation by Portugal and Austria

The Office presented a proposal for the set-up and blueprint of the Observatory on Patents and Technology, which received a favourable opinion from the Council and so did the proposal by the Chairperson on the modernisation of the EPO's external governance.

An update on the Unitary Patent was presented by the Chairperson of the Select Committee, as well as the French and Czech delegations, which hold the EU Presidency for the first and second semester of 2022 respectively. More information on recent achievements and the remaining steps is available in the Communiqué of the Select Committee, which held its latest meeting on 30 June 2022.

Turning to financial matters, the Council noted the opinion of the Board of Auditors and approved their report, along with the EPO's accounts for 2021. Delegations praised the Office's ongoing prudent approach to its planning assumptions in 2023, which take into consideration recent geopolitical tensions such as the military aggression against Ukraine, as well as the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

Furthermore, the Council noted the reports of its Chairperson and of the respective Chairpersons of the Select Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Technical and Operational Support Committee, the Committee on Patent Law and the Supervisory Board of the Reserve Funds for Pensions and Social Security (RFPSS).

In a closed session, the Council took note of solid progress reported by the Office with preparations for the future membership of Montenegro, its co-operation activities to support the Ukrainian Patent Office, and an extensive update provided by the Office on social dialogue.

Finally, the Council also took a number of decisions on individual appointments:

  • election of Mr Johannes Christian WICHARD (DE) as Chairperson of the Technical and Operational Support Committee for a three-year mandate
  • extension of the mandate of Mr Ola HOLLUM (NO) as member of the Board of Auditors for another three years
  • Appointment, re-appointment and promotion of members of the Boards of Appeal (BoA), based on proposals by the President of the BoA and on his consultation or recommendations on proposals from the Chairperson of the Council.

Council Secretariat


Munich, 11 April 2022

26th meeting of the Select Committee of EU Member States participating in the enhanced co-operation on Unitary Patent Protection (Munich, 23 March 2022)

The Select Committee of the European Patent Organisation held its 26th meeting in Munich as an e-meeting on 23 March 2022 under its Chairperson Mr Jérôme DEBRULLE (BE).

At the beginning of the meeting, the Committee observed a minute of silence as a sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

The Committee noted the report by the Chair of the UPC Administrative Committee, Mr Alexander RAMSAY, as well as an update on the entry into force of the Unitary Patent (UP) from the head of the delegation from France, which holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first half of 2022. Both reports confirm that taking into account the entry into force on the 19th of January 2022 of the Protocol on provisional application of the UPC Agreement and the state of play of the implementation of the UPC Agreement, it can reasonably be expected that the Unitary Patent Protection reform will enter into application in the course of the second semester 2022.

In this context, the Select Committee dealt with several topics which still need to be addressed before the entry into application of the Unitary Patent Protection.   

The Committee approved the amendments to the Rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection regarding the Register for unitary patent protection in relation with the identification of the place of business - Rule 16 UPR.

The Committee then noted the financial simulations for the Unitary Patent Package (UPP), giving an update on the key underlying statistics and penetration rates. Meeting in closed session, the Committee also noted the UPP financial simulations with regard to the updated results per participating Member State.

The Committee was subsequently presented with the updated results of the questionnaire on national measures to accompany UP implementation. It welcomed the Office's intention to make this information publicly available online, giving users easy access to national legislation accompanying the implementation of the UP.

It noted a report by the Office on top-up search with regard to earlier national rights in view of the UP, along with a report on the recent communication workshop and planned delivery of information material on the UPP.

Finally, the Committee noted that its next meeting would take place in June 2022 on the margins of the Council's 171st meeting.

Select Committee Secretariat


Munich, 7 April 2022

170th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (Munich, 22 March 2022)

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 170th meeting as an e-meeting on 22 March 2022, under its Chairperson Josef KRATOCHVÍL (CZ).

At the beginning of the meeting, the Council observed a minute of silence for Ukraine and the victims of the tragic events unfolding in the country.

The Council noted the Chairperson's activity report and heard reports from the respective Chairpersons of the Select Committee, the Committee on Patent Law, and the Boards of Appeal Committee (BOAC) on the meetings held since the last Council session in December.

The President of the European Patent Office, António CAMPINOS, provided the Council with an extensive report on the Office's activities in 2022 under each of the five main goals of the Strategic Plan 2023. The Council praised the Office's achievements and joined the President and the Chairperson in expressing their deep appreciation to all staff for the solid progress made in 2022.

The Council also noted the management report of the President of the Boards of Appeal for 2021, before moving on to other important agenda items, including:

  • New ways of working: the Council gave a unanimous favourable opinion on the proposed post-pandemic hybrid working scheme and praised the broad consultation conducted by the Office with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Orientation paper on professional mobility: the Council welcomed the Office's redesigning of the EPO professional mobility landscape and exchanged views in particular on programmes for secondment, flexible language policy, and various aspects of unpaid leave.
  • Transforming Vienna building into a green hub: the Council unanimously approved the launch of the complete renovation of the EPO's building in Vienna.
  • Relocation of the Boards of Appeal: the Council took note of the information provided by the Office on the legal and technical aspects of the proposed relocation of the Boards of Appeal from its current premises in Haar to the "Bauteil 7" of the Pschorrhöfe.
  • Convergence of practice: the Council unanimously approved two recommendations for a common practice as regards the accordance of a date of priority, and the re-establishment of rights respectively.

Furthermore, the Council welcomed the latest developments related to the Unitary Patent presented by the delegation from France, which holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first half of 2022.   

The Council also took a number of decisions on individual appointments:

  • Re-election of Mr Peter SLATER (UK) as deputy chairperson of the Technical and Operational Support Committee for a further three-year mandate
  • Appointment of Mr Javier VERA (ES) as member of the BOAC under Article 2(1)(a) of CA/D 7/16 for a three-year mandate
  • Appointment of Ms Margaret FROST (UK) as alternate external member of the Supervisory Board of the RFPSS for a three-year mandate
  • Appointment of Ms Leonor TRINDADE (PT) and Mr Per FOSS (NO) as members of the Appeals Committee to deal with appeals against individual decisions taken by the Administrative Council for a two-year mandate
  • Appointments and re-appointments of members of the BoA, based on proposals by the President of the Boards of Appeal and on his consultation or recommendations on proposals from the Chairperson of the Council.

Council Secretariat


Munich, 15 February 2022

169th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (Munich, 14 and 15 December 2021)

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 169th meeting as an e-meeting on 14 and 15 December 2021, under its Chairperson Josef KRATOCHVÍL (CZ).

As well as noting its Chairperson's activity report, the Council also heard reports from the respective Chairpersons of the Select Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Committee on Patent Law, the Technical and Operational Support Committee and the Supervisory Board of the RFPSS, covering the outcome of productive meetings in the autumn.

The President of the European Patent Office, António CAMPINOS, together with his management team, provided the Council with an extensive report on the Office's achievements in 2021 under each of the five main goals of the Strategic Plan 2023. The Council congratulated the President, as well as the Office's management and staff, on the EPO's excellent performance under circumstances that remained highly challenging. The Council also gave a unanimous favourable opinion on the Annual Work Plan for 2022. It welcomed the Office's prudent, long-term approach in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and particularly the strong focus on business continuity and moving progressively towards a "New Normal" situation.

The Council considered other important agenda items, including:

  • The Code of Conduct for Members of the Boards of Appeal and of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, which was unanimously approved.
  • New ways of working: the Office informed the Council of a new scheme designed to offer staff suitable flexibility, while ensuring business continuity and reinforcing the attractiveness of the Office as a modern employer. This scheme would begin as a pilot - starting when the emergency situation ends - and would mark the Office's transition to a hybrid work environment. The Council considered the various aspects and implications of this approach. Its discussions will continue at the Council's meeting in March 2022.
  • Regulations on strike and unauthorised absence: the Council unanimously approved the proposed amendments to the Service Regulation as a result of the respective ILOAT judgements rendered in July 2021.
  • Orientation on recruitment: In view of the uncertain economic and workload outlook, the Office presented a cautious approach to recruitment in 2022. Internal job mobility will continue to play a key role, while the recruitment of 77 new examiners is planned and underway. The Council gave a unanimous favourable opinion on the approach.

The Council also welcomed the latest developments related to the Unitary Patent presented by the Slovenian and the Austrian delegations. They pave the way for the start of the period of provisional application of the UPCA and mean that the UPC/UPP package could potentially become operational by the second half of 2022. More information on this major achievement is published in the Communiqué of the Select Committee, whose meeting took place one day after the Council. 

Turning to budgetary and financial matters, the Council unanimously approved the Organisation's EUR 2.34 bn budget for 2022 and the biennial inflation adjustment of the fees to be applied as of 1 April 2022.

The Council also took a number of decisions on individual appointments:

  • Re-election of Ms Borghildur ERLINGSDÓTTIR (IS) as Deputy Chairperson of the Administrative Council for a further three-year mandate;
  • Re-appointment of Ms Catherine MARGELLOU (GR) as member of the BOAC under Article 2(1)(a) of CA/D 7/16 for a further three-year mandate;
  • Appointment of Ms Hélène DUBOIS (FR) as external member of the Supervisory Board of the RFPSS for a three-year mandate;
  • And appointment of a chairperson in the Boards of Appeal (BoA), based on a proposal by the President of the BoA.

Council Secretariat


Munich, 19 January 2022

24th and 25th meetings of the Select Committee of EU Member States participating in the enhanced cooperation on Unitary Patent Protection (Munich, 14th October 2021 and 16 December 2021)

After swift advances with the ratification of the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement, the Select Committee of the European Patent Organisation resumed work at its October and December 2021 meetings, both in e-format. The Committee re-elected Jérôme Debrulle (BE) as Chairperson and Simona Marzetti (IT) as Deputy Chairperson, each for a renewable three-year term effective as of 27 March 2022. The Committee also decided to admit the United Kingdom as an observer.

Based on a proposal by its Chairperson, the Committee agreed on its work programme for 2022. The programme spans five areas: adjustments to the current legislative framework to provide appropriate adaptations to the rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection (UPP), monitoring of accompanying measures at a national level, technical co-operation, final adjustments to the existing financial framework, and communication, promotion and awareness-raising activities related to the UPP.

The Committee noted the Office's report on the state of play of preparatory work. The Committee also noted the report by the delegation from Slovenia, which held the presidency of the Council of the EU during the second half of 2021, as well as interventions by the delegation from France, which holds the presidency during the first half of 2022. Furthermore, the Austrian delegation updated the Committee on the finalisation of the parliamentary ratification of the Protocol on Provisional Application and expected ratification instrument to be deposited by mid-January 2022, which would allow the provisional application period to start.

Amendments to Rule 16 on Unitary Patent Protection in the Register for Unitary Patent Protection (Rule 16 UPR) were approved at the meeting. These amendments cover the removal of inventor data and a new entry on the residence or principal place of business at the time of filing. In a closed session, the Committee also approved an amendment to Article 2 of the Rules relating to the Distribution of Fees amongst participating Member States.

The Office presented two transitional arrangements to support users in their early uptake of the Unitary Patent. These arrangements cover early requests for unitary effect and the option to request a delay in issuing the decision to grant a European patent. Both initiatives were welcomed by the Committee.

Finally, the Office also reported on the communication and awareness-raising campaign accompanying the Unitary Patent and announced an IT implementation workshop presenting the new user interface to be held on 27 January 2022. The outcome of this workshop will be presented to the Committee at its next meeting, which is scheduled to take place on 23 March 2022.

Select Committee Secretariat