July 18, 2006

Last week, European Patent Office (EPO) President Professor Alain Pompidou provided insight as to his vision on the future of the EPO and the patent “system” in Europe. He commented in particular on smaller business, noting that roughly 90% of all EPO applicants last year were “small applicants” filing between one and five patent applications per year. He further stated that “we owe all innovative businesses in Europe a strong patent system because a strong patent fosters innovation, which in turn nurtures economic growth, and because the key to our future lies in an economy based not on raw materials but on the knowledge, ingenuity and creativity of our peoples.” He also focused on specific quality measures regarding the patent application process and of the patents which are granted, noting that “the EPO has proposed to its member states that a Europe-wide quality system be established for patents and patent-related services.” Prof. Pompidou also referred to the London Protocol and its focus on reducing the requirements for translations for patent applications in European member states, noting that translation costs of up to EUR 3,000 are not uncommon.

Alain Pompidou’s July 12, 2006 Comments: LINK
Subsequent EPO Press Release: LINK
The London Agreement (re: Costs of Translations): LINK
EPO News Release Webpage: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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