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…

In one of the saga of cases that involved Societé des Produits Nestlé and companies that are trying to market capsules compatible with Nescafé’s Dolce Gusto system, the defendant alleged, among other arguments, that some of the patents asserted were null due to a lack of inventive step. The case was handled by Commercial Court…

What can people, in particular citizens of Munich and Bavaria, do if they feel that elementary constitutional rights are infringed, not somewhere abroad and far away, but literally next door, at the Isar river banks or in the Pschorrhöfe building? Unfortunately, this is no rhetorical question. If such things happen in the jurisdiction of German…

Part II (- sorry, this will be a bit longer, but a lot has accumulated recently…) How does the EPO in 2018 fare with regard to the criterion “expert, well supported and motivated staff”? To what extent is it already reality, and to what “vision” in the sense of fancy? In my personal view, it…

Part I – Introduction The word “vision” has a couple of fascinatingly different meanings. There is a famous saying by Helmut Schmidt, Germany’s chancellor from 1974-1982, who recommended to anyone proclaiming that he/she had a vision to see a doctor. According to wiktionary, vision may mean: 1. The sense or ability of sight. 2. Something…

Recently, “New Investment Guidelines of the European Patent Office” (CA/F 18/17 Rev. 1) was published among the “Administrative Council documents” on the EPO web site. The Investment Guidelines relate to management of the treasury of the EPO and outline a more flexible approach for investing the funds in the treasury. In particular, rather than being…

The Administrative Tribunal of the ILO (ILOAT), which decided a series of cases concerning the EPO in its 125th session last week, dismissed a complaint of the former SUEPO trade union chairman Elizabeth Hardon against her downgrading by EPO president Benoit Battistelli. After the suicide of an EPO employee in May 2012, Hardon, at the…