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To read the full EPO Strategic Plan 2023, please download the PDF on the left hand side of this page. We have made every effort to optimise this publication for screen reading and encourage you to refrain from printing it out for environmental reasons.

The EPO Strategic Plan 2023 provides a clear roadmap for achieving a new vision for the EPO distributed over five goals. It outlines the actions and initiatives to be taken and the improvements required to deliver sustainability and excellence.

1. Foreword by the President

Our organisation needs to be agile and adaptable to changing conditions, so that we can deliver excellence over a sustained period of time, regardless of the challenges posed by a dynamic patent system.

2. Our story so far

The European Patent Office opened its doors on 2 November 1977. Its first decades were marked by success, as standards and working practices were established and demand for its services greatly exceeded initial estimates. This eventually resulted in the Office becoming financially autonomous in 1981, a feature that has shaped its evolution to this day.

3. New challenges in a changing world

In an increasingly networked and globalised world economy, the rise of new players in the world of patents, constantly evolving stakeholder expectations and technological change mean that the demands placed on the Office are growing steadily in terms of their diversity and complexity. Against this background there is a shift from traditional concerns over efficiency to a holistic regard for effective improvement. The main challenge now is to ensure that the EPO achieves sustainable progress in a rapidly changing world.

4. A strategy for a sustainable future

As an international organisation, the EPO has an obligation to consider the wider impact of its actions when contemplating how to meet future challenges. Inevitably the Office has to pursue an approach that creates long-term value, not only in terms of its financial sustainability, but also in terms of environmental and social sustainability.

5. Current capabilities

Throughout its forty-two year history the EPO has built up specific capabilities that have enabled it to become one of world’s leading IP offices in a relatively short amount of time. Its achievements to date were based upon a set of attributes that still drive its success today. These include expert staff that are able to exploit the Office’s extensive collection of patent literature; an expanding network comprising member and non-member states, users and policymakers; as well as the ability to adapt to the demands of the ever-evolving European patent system.

6. The Strategic Plan planning process

The Strategic Plan took several months to draft as it incorporated broad-based feedback from a variety of sources. These included the general public, the EPO’s member states and some 100 user groups and interested circles such as the SACEPO (Standing Advisory Committee before the EPO). Staff were also invited to comment both in personal meetings with President Campinos and online. Two rounds of consultation eventually contributed to the Plan which will provide clear roadmap for achieving the shared vision expressed in its five main goals.