On 1 July 2018, António Campinos became president of the European Patent Office, as successor of Benoit Battistelli, whose authoritarian leadership and conflicts with staff members and union leaders led to years of deep social unrest at the EPO. Hundred days after the leadership change, there is cautious optimism Campinos is committed to improving the…

The European Patent Office published an advance preview today of its annual update to the Guidelines for Examination which will come into force on 1 November 2018. Here are the main changes and what they mean for users of the European patent system: 1. More definitive language Throughout the new version of the Guidelines, some…

Since the Eli Lilly v. Canada award of 2017, the relevance of international investment law for patents has been known to a wider public. In response to the revocation of two Canadian patents concerning the compounds olanzapine and atomoxetine by Canadian courts, the US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly initiated arbitral proceedings against Canada on the…

Effectiveness, international cooperation and staff relations are three main areas on which Antonio Campinos intends to focus as new president of the European Patent Office. Campinos, who started in office on 1 July 2018, wrote this in a message which was published today on the EPO website. According to Campinos, it is ‘an immense honour…

In the last week of his term as president of the European Patent Office and a day before the official opening of the new EPO building in The Netherlands, president Benoit Battistelli lost three high-profile cases at the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organisation  (ILOAT). The tribunal said Battistelli’s decisions to dismiss SUEPO leaders…

Three weeks before the end of the presidency of Benoit Battistelli, the European Patent Office published the report ‘Modernising the EPO for excellence and sustainability’, a ‘summary of achievements resulting from the extensive modernisation reforms put in place’ during Battistelli’s term in office from 2010 to 2018. Concerns about quality, the independence of the Boards…

Four leading patent law firms in Germany – Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner – have published an open letter expressing ‘great concern’ about the developments at the European Patent Office, particularly ‘the modifications to the incentive systems for the examination of patent applications’. The ‘overreaching desire for high productivity’ has led to…

The Unitary Patent (UP) package becoming a reality would be a great step forward for Europe. Intellectual property, and patents in particular, is a key ingredient in innovation systems. However, more political efforts will be needed to build a truly European system which supports innovation dynamics. And the European Patent Office (EPO) should probably be…