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Law & practice

Official Journal January 2023

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Citation: OJ EPO 2023, A1
Online publication date: 31.1.2023

Report on the 173rd meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (13 and 14 December 2022)

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 173rd meeting in Munich on 13 and 14 December under its Chairperson Josef KRATOCHVÍL (CZ) in a hybrid format.

Among its key strategic decisions, the Council decided to:

  • reappoint the three vice-presidents of the Office for another five-year mandate in a closed session
  • unanimously approve the request of the Republic of Moldova to acceed to the European Patent Convention.

The Council also decided on the appointment, reappointment and promotion of members of the Boards of Appeal based on proposals by the President of the Boards of Appeal and on his consultation or recommendations regarding proposals by the Chairperson.

The Office presented an extensive report on its activities featuring a goal-by-goal update on progress with its strategic plan, as well as highlights from its Annual Work Plan 2023. The Council, together with the Chairperson and the President of the Office, thanked staff for their commitment and the excellent results achieved in 2022. Delegations underlined the importance of the dialogue on patent quality with the business community and users. They also expressed their deep appreciation of the Office's co-operation activities, exchanged views on oral proceedings in opposition via videoconferencing, and welcomed the overview of the preparations to celebrate 50 years of the EPC.

The Council subsequently discussed several other matters and unanimously approved:

  • the topics for the next cycle of the convergence of practice
  • a revised data policy with links to societal goals
  • a number of decisions related to adjustments of salaries, allowances, pensions, health services and parental leave

Furthermore, other important agenda items were considered, including the orientation paper on recruitment and workforce planning 2023, which received a unanimous favourable opinion. Turning to budgetary and financial matters, the Council unanimously approved the Organisation's EUR 2.73bn budget for 2023 and an adjustment of fees and prices for 2023.

Finally, the Council noted the reports 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). An update on Unitary Patent (UP) protection was also presented by the Chairperson of the Select Committee and by the Acting Chair of the UPC Administrative Committee.